Southern Arkansas University Mourns Loss Of Senior Football Player



MAGNOLIA, AR -- We have more information on the death of SAU football player Brandon T. Hobdy.

He and former SAU student, 24-year-old Wayne Payton of McNeil both died in a double shooting in Magnolia early Sunday morning.

SAU Police Chief Anthony Williams says the SAU Police Department was informed of the off-campus incident at approximately 2:00 a.m.

Law Enforcement officials said a disturbance at the local VFW prompted the shooting.

A report from the Columbia County Sheriff's Department states the suspects that caused the disturbance entered a red vehicle after being removed from the venue.

They reportedly entered a red vehicle, retrieved a weapon and began shooting into the crowd.

Hobdy and Payton -- both innocent bystanders -- were critically wounded by random gunfire.

They were transported to Magnolia Regional Hospital, where staff worked diligently to save their lives.

But they were later pronounced dead.

The event was not affiliated with the University.

The athletic department will hold a candlelight vigil at Wilkins Stadium at 9 p.m. Sunday night to honor Hobdy.

MAGNOLIA, AR - Southern Arkansas University and its athletic department is mourning the loss of a senior football player, Brandon Hobdy.

SAU Police Chief Anthony Williams says the 23-year-old died early Sunday morning after a shooting at the VFW. SAU police say the incident was a double homicide and is working with Magnolia Police and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office together in the investigation.

The school posted the following message concerning Hobdy's death on its website

"Everyone at Southern Arkansas is deeply saddened by this tragic news" said SAU Athletic Director Steve Browning. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hobdy family in particular and to all those that are affected by this tragedy."

SAU Police Chief Anthony Williams say the football team requested a candle light vigil to remember Hobdy. The vigil will be held on campus 9pm Sunday night.

Hobdy is a native of Garland, Texas. He played wide receiver on the SAU football team and was slated to be a significant contributor for the Mulerider offense this coming season.
Last season was Hobdy's first at SAU after he transferred in from Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, Calif.

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