Author Topic: Memphis linebacker shot to death; campus closed  (Read 432 times)

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Memphis linebacker shot to death; campus closed
« on: October 01, 2007, 12:06:07 pm »
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A University of Memphis football player was fatally shot on campus in a targeted attack and classes were canceled Monday as a precaution, officials said.

Taylor Bradford, 21, was taken to Regional Medical Center at 10:15 p.m. Sunday and pronounced dead, hospital spokeswoman Sandy Snell said.

Bradford, a 5-foot-11, 300-pound defensive lineman from Nashville, was a junior who transferred to Memphis after two seasons at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

According to multiple reports, Bradford was shot near the Carpenter Complex, a student housing facility across from the campus. Memphis coach Tommy West, as well as dozens of players, arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting, WVLT said.

"We found him with a bullet wound to the body and the ambulance took him to the hospital where he was pronounced [dead]," said Roger Prewitt, a Memphis Police inspector.

University police declined to release the name of the student, but the incident "may have involved a current or former football player," said Bob Winn, associate athletic director at University of Memphis.

The Memphis football team is scheduled to play host to Marshall on Tuesday night (ESPN2, 8 ET).

University officials closed residence halls on campus for about a half-hour after the shooting before police learned that the shooting was likely personal, spokesman Curt Gunther said.

In an e-mail alert sent to faculty, staff and students at 3:40 a.m. Monday, officials wrote that "the initial investigation indicates this was an act directed specifically toward the victim and was not a random act of violence."

The university decided to cancel classes Monday, although police believe the person or persons involved in the shooting left the campus immediately. Memphis police have not established a motive and have no suspects in custody.

"I certainly understand [the decision] in the wake of Virginia Tech and how that was scrutinized," David Dunlap Jr., a 37-year-old law student, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "I think the administration is going to error on the side of caution given that criticism."

The massacre at Virginia Tech occurred April 16, when a lone student gunman killed 32 people and injured dozens before committing suicide in what was the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

Memphis had 20,562 students enrolled for last fall, according to its web site.

The school was founded in 1912 as West Tennessee State Normal School and was renamed Memphis State College in 1941. It became Memphis State University in 1957, two years before it admitted its first black students. It was renamed the University of Memphis in 1994.
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