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Gavin Escobar, former Aztec, killed in Riverside County rock climbing incident

Former Aztec, firefighter, Gavin Escobar was one of the two rock climbers found dead in Riverside County.
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar (89) jogs off the field during a preseason NFL football game against the Houston Texans on Thursday Sept. 1, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

SAN DIEGO — Gavin Escobar, 31, former Long Beach Firefighter and San Diego State Aztec, was found dead after a rock climbing incident Wednesday in the San Bernardino National Forest, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

First responders were dispatched to a rescue in Tahquitz Rock in the Idyllwild area in an attempt to rescue two injured rock climbers, according to Cal Fire Riverside. Firefighters attempted to hike to the injured duo's rescue but ultimately had to call in a Mountain Rescue Team for additional support.

Cal Fire reported once firefighters made access to Escobar, and fellow hiker, Chelsea Walsh, 33, both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

No other details surrounding the rock climbing incident were immediately made available. 

Escobar worked as a firefighter with the city of Long Beach since 2022 after a decade-long stint playing professional football with the Dallas Cowboys in a tight-end position. Before his professional career, Escobar attended San Diego State University in 2012 where he played a Junior tight end position with the San Diego State Aztecs. 

The Dallas Cowboys, the team Escobar shared four career seasons with, shared a moving image of Escobar to their official Twitter account where dozens of fans shared highlights of the football star's accomplishments.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the off-duty death of Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar. Hired on February 5, 2022, Firefighter Escobar was assigned to Fire Station 3 on B-shift. Before being a Long Beach Firefighter, Gavin Escobar played professional football for the #NFL where he spent most of his time with the #DallasCowboys," the Long Beach Fire Department said in a Facebook Post.

Escobar leaves behind his wife and two young children, according to LBFD.

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