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A-State Football Player Fatally Shot in Tennessee During Home Invasion Robbery

Markel Owens, a defensive lineman, was killed in his hometown of Jackson, Tenn., Wednesday night.
JONESBORO, AR -- Two people are dead including a football player for Arkansas State University after they were shot during a home invasion robbery, the Jackson Police Department has confirmed.

Markel Owens, 21, was killed in his hometown of Jackson, Tenn., Wednesday night along with his stepfather Johnny Shivers, 36.

Police responded to the residence on Walker Road around 9:30 p.m., where they found Owens' mother lying in the front yard with a gunshot wound.

Upon entering the residence they found Owens and Shivers inside with gunshot wounds. Shivers was pronounced dead at the scene, and Owens was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Owens' mother was treated and released from the hospital.

Investigators learned Shivers was returning home when he was rushed inside the apartment by two masked men. Owens and his mother were inside the apartment.

The two men then demanded money. At that time, a struggle ensued, and Owens joined in the struggle with Shivers, in which they were both shot.

One of the gunmen then shot the woman and the two fled with a large amount of cash. Law enforcement officials believe Shivers was targeted, and the robbers had knowledge of the large amount of cash as well as marijuana at the residence.

The investigation is ongoing, and police say the only suspect information they have is that the two masked men were black and that they possibly left in the scene in a white Honda Civic.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Jackson Police Department's Major Crimes Bureau at 731-425-8400 or Crime Stoppers at 731-424-8477 (TIPS). Submit a cyber tip at jmcrimestoppers.org and click on “web tips.”
 
Owens began playing for Arkansas State in 2010, when he redshirted and played on the scout team.

He recently competed in the GoDaddy Bowl in which Arkansas State defeated Ball State 20-23.

Arkansas State University released the following statements from Athletic Director Terry Mohajir and head football coach Blake Anderson regarding Owens' death:

“Our worst fears were realized as an athletics department after being notified early this morning about the unfortunate news about Markel,” said Mohajir.  “We're deeply sadden and our utmost sympathies go out to his family, teammates and classmates. Please join me in prayer for so many people who are being impacted by the loss of Markel.”

“Markel was a part of our Red Wolves family, and it is obvious he was a well-liked and respected member of our team who will be missed,” said Blake Anderson.  “We are doing everything possible to comfort his teammates, and we extend our compassion to his family during this difficult time.”

 
For those grieving, Arkansas State students are reminded that counseling is available through the Arkansas State Counseling Center located in the second floor of the Reng Student Union; phone 870-972-2318.
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