Police arrested Markale Hart and charged him with murder for the death of Auburn football player Jakell Mitchell, WTVM reported Sunday. Mitchell was fatally shot early Sunday morning in an off-campus apartment complex near the university. He was 18.
Hart, 22, is being held on $150,000 bond at the Lee County Jail in Alabama, WTVM wrote. No further arrests are expected, but the case is still being investigated.
Mitchell’s father referred to him as a “great spirit” in a written statement to WTVM. “…When he was born you just looked at him and you know he was going to be something he was going to be somebody and at [five] years old we knew what he wanted to be and that was to be a football player.”
Aburn’s coach and athletics director also issued statements following Mitchell’s untimely death.
"I'm devastated and saddened by the passing of Jakell Mitchell. My thoughts and prayers are with Jakell's family and friends, who are suffering through this senseless tragedy," Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. "I know the Auburn Family is hurting, especially our players and coaches, and we are going to love and support them through this difficult time. We have lost a member of our family too young, too soon."
Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said counseling would be provided to those grieving Mitchell’s death. “This is a very trying time for those close to Jakell, including the student-athletes, coaches, staff and Auburn Family. We will provide counseling and support and do everything we can to help them through the grieving process,” he said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jakell Mitchell's family and those who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy.”
The university also issued a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jakell's family and many friends. Auburn offers support services, and we encourage those in need to contact the Division of Student Affairs."
Two former players and another person were killed in a shooting two years ago at the same complex, Fox News reported. After reportedly being shot at the Tiger Lodge apartment complex, Mitchell was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The complex tweeted a brief message, but elaborated further on Facebook. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jakell Mitchell's family, friends and the entire Auburn University community. When tragedies such as this occur, everyone is affected, and we all mourn his loss,” Tiger Lodge said, in part.
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