JONESBORO, Ark., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The shooting death of Arkansas State football player Markel Owens during a robbery has "deeply saddened" the university, the athletic director said.
"Our worst fears were realized as an athletics department after being notified early this morning about the unfortunate news about Markel," Terry Mohajir said in a statement released Thursday by the university.
"We're deeply saddened and our utmost sympathies go out to his family, teammates and classmates," the statement said.
"Markel was a part of our Red Wolves family," said head football coach Blake Anderson, "and it is obvious he was a well-liked and respected member of our team who will be missed."
Owens, 21, a three-year letterman on the ASU team, and his stepfather, Johnny Shivers, 36, were killed Wednesday night in a home invasion robbery at their home in Jackson, Tenn., the Jackson Sun reported.
Chermaine Owens, 37, Markel Owens' mother and Shivers' wife, suffered a leg wound. She was treated at a hospital and released.
Police investigators said they believe Shivers was specifically targeted. They said a large amount of marijuana was found in the house.