PRESCOTT, AZ - For years, Mike Hughes spent his days training Denver Police Officers. He's described as well-known and well-liked. Friday, Hughes and his wife, Joy were killed when their plane went down near Prescott, Arizona.
"Everybody that I've spoken with is pretty shocked. He was a young guy and he was healthy and he was doing what he loved to do," Detective Daniel Andrews, Denver Police, said.
Andrews worked as a field training officer with Hughes in District 2 in northeast Denver. Hughes was in charge of the training and Andrews says he taught officers life-saving skills and how to treat the public.
"His greatest concern was making sure every officer went home safe at the end of the shift," Andrews said.
Upon retirement, the 63-year-old taught firearms training at Gunsight Academy in Arizona. Andrews says Hughes also ran a business in Centennial training people who are seeking concealed weapons permits.
Mike and Joy Hughes were riding in a Cessna 340 Aircraft with a couple from Texas when witnesses say the small plane clipped trees and may have struck a radio tower before exploding on impact. All four people onboard were killed.
"(Joy) was always fun to be around. She was a beautiful woman. They looked great together," Andrews said.
Last year, Andrews said Mike and Joy Hughes made a generous donation to the Denver Police Orphan's Fund, calling it the best way to spend their money during retirement.
"It just comes as a really sad surprise to get that news," Andrews said.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)