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Police want to know who shot, killed Southern Mississippi University football player

By Mike Heuer
Marcus "M.J." Daniels Jr. died of an apparent gunshot wound Tuesday night, Hattiesburg Police said. Photo courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics/X
Marcus "M.J." Daniels Jr. died of an apparent gunshot wound Tuesday night, Hattiesburg Police said. Photo courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics/X

June 12 (UPI) -- Southern Mississippi University is mourning the shooting death of a senior defensive back on the school's football team.

Marcus "M.J." Daniels Jr. died of an apparent gunshot wound Tuesday night following a shooting at a Hattiesburg, Miss., apartment complex.

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Police are looking for suspects.

Hattiesburg police officers found Daniels unresponsive inside his vehicle that was parked at the off-campus Ivy Row apartment complex.

Forest County Coroner Lisa Klem told local media her office responded to a call at 10 p.m. at the apartment complex located at 219 Ivy Row Circle.

The coroner pronounced Daniels dead at the scene, and his body was sent to the state's medical examiner for an autopsy.

USM head football coach Will Hall and other university officials were at the crime scene following the shooting.

Daniels, 21, was a senior defensive back for Southern Mississippi University and previously played for the University of Mississippi.

Last year was his only season with the Golden Eagles, for whom he posted 29 tackles and led the team with three interceptions.

"The University of Southern Mississippi and the Department of Athletics mourn the loss of M.J. Daniels," university officials said in a statement Wednesday. "We send our sincere condolences to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time."

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Daniels was a resident of Lucedale, Miss., and a star football player for George County High School.

Hattiesburg Police are working to locate the "perpetrators" and "bring justice to the victim and his family," Chief Hardy Sims said in a news release Wednesday.

Anyone with information can contact Hattiesburg police detectives by calling 610-545-4971, calling Crime Stoppers at **Tips or submit anonymous tips online at www.p3tips.com.

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