A University of Alabama-Birmingham freshman football player died Friday morning after sustaining a gunshot wound the previous day, authorities said.
Allen Merrick, 19, a linebacker, was shot while visiting his home in Gadsden, Alabama, WBRC reported. According to the Gadsden Police Department, the shooting appears to have been accidental, Gadsden police Capt. Bobby Jackson told AL.com.
“At a loss for words. Please keep the Merrick Family in your thoughts and prayers,” the UAB football program tweeted Friday.
Gadsden Police Capt. Scott Lumpkin had confirmed Thursday that a young man had been seriously injured in what police believed to be an accidental shooting, The Gadsden Times reported. Police did not release the names of others who may have been involved in the shooting and said the investigation was ongoing.
“It’s just tragic,” Gadsden City Schools Superintendent Tony Reddick told the newspaper.
Merrick was named Gadsden City’s defensive player of the year in 2019 and played in the Alabama-Mississippi all-star game, WIAT reported. He graduated from Gadsden City High School and signed with UAB after also receiving offers from Nebraska, Purdue, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri and Central Florida, the television station reported.
Merrick is the second UAB football player to die this offseason, ESPN reported. Safety Jamari Smith drowned in a lake in May.