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NCAA Football: Vanderbilt's Four-Star Prospect Rajaan Bennett Dead

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 12:  Members of the Vanderbilt Commodores band play during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 12, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Daniel KablackCorrespondent IIIFebruary 18, 2010

A standout running back in high school, and a new Vanderbilt University commit, Rajaan Bennett was found shot dead this morning in an apparent murder-suicide.

Bennett, of McEachern High School, signed earlier this month to play at Vanderbilt in this upcoming year.

He never got a chance to step foot on the field.

Police suspect that Bennett's mother's former boyfriend, Clifton O'Neal Steager, was the culprit of the crime. He too was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

A third person was also injured in the shooting.

When asked about the suspect, not much information could be given. A cousin of Steager said that he worked as a carpenter and he was from Detroit.

Police arrived this morning around 2:30 a.m. when they heard the voice of a 911 caller ask in a whisper for help.

As officers approached the door about four minutes later, they reported a burst of four or five gunshots.

Two survivors ran from the house, Narjaketha Bennett, 37, and her brother, Taiwan Hunter, 32. Hunter was injured by the gunman.

Bennett had a promising future.

He was ranked as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com.

During his senior year, the running back and captain of McEachern's 2009 football team, rushed for 1,857 yards and 28 touchdowns on 236 carries.

McEachern's Football Coach, Kyle Hockman stated, "Rajaan is both humble and hard working. He's a guy that is very respected by his teammates and the McEachern community. I think the world of this young man."

 

 

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