Tennessee Titans player O.J. Murdock, a former standout at Middleton High School, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in front of the school, Tampa police say.
Deputies say they discovered Murdock in his car around 8:30 a.m. in front of the school.
He was transported to Tampa General Hospital and died at 10:43 a.m.
Murdock, 25, spent his first season with the Titans on injured reserve after suffering an Achilles injury during training camp.
The Titans released a statement shortly after the news of Murdock's death was announced.
We are shocked and saddened to hear of O.J. Murdock’s death this morning. In his brief time here, a number of our players, coaches and staff had grown close to O.J., and this is a difficult time for them. He spent the last year battling back from an Achilles injury as he prepared for this year’s training camp. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they try to cope with this tragedy.
There are so many questions that everyone has when hearing about a situation like this. Sadly, so many of them will likely go unanswered forever because the only person who knows why this happened is Murdock.
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, formerly of the St. Petersburg Times, offered his thoughts on Murdock.
We have all gotten so lost with the excitement over training camp and the start of a new NFL season with the Hall of Fame game next Sunday, yet none of that feels important right now.
At 25 years old, Murdock had everything ahead of him. He was playing in the NFL, getting ready to jump-start his career. Now, for reasons that are unclear, all of that is gone. It's such a sad, tragic end to a life that was just getting started.