Missouri State Football Player Richard Nelson Dies at Age 18

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2017

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 27:  American footballs rest on the sideline before the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 27, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats Jacksonville 28-21.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Missouri State Bears freshman running back Richard Nelson was shot and killed Saturday, according to Marvin Clemons of KSNV in Las Vegas.

"I feel awful for our guys, because he’s a friend," said Missouri State athletic director Kyle Moats, per Jim Connell of the Springfield News-Leader. "It's tough. There's not a play chart for this one. You have to do the best you can, and we're going to do everything we can to support our guys. Everyone will react differently."

Head coach Dave Steckel provided a statement on Missouri State's official athletics website:

Our Missouri State football family is in shock and mourning at the loss of one of our family members. Richard is like a son and a brother. It is a tragedy that he lost his life defending what is right. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in Las Vegas, and we know he is in a good place with God. We ask everyone to respect the privacy of our football family at this time as we begin the healing process.

Clemons reported that Las Vegas police responded to a suspected shooting at 7:30 p.m. PT. Officers found Nelson at the scene, and he was transported to a local hospital, where he died.

Authorities are still looking for the shooter, who is alleged to have shot Nelson multiple times after a fight involving members of Nelson's family. The shooter left before police arrived.

Nelson, a native of Las Vegas, redshirted in his first season with the Bears. As a senior at Chaparral High School in 2015, he ran for 558 yards and 10 touchdowns.

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