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Suspect Arrested in Shooting Death of Auburn Football Player Jakell Mitchell

Markale Hart, 22, was charged with murder in connection with the death of Jakell Mitchell, who was found dead in an apartment near campus, cops said.

A suspect in the early morning shooting death of an Auburn University football player was arrested Sunday, according to police. Markale Deandra Hart, 22, was charged with murder in connection with the death of Jakell Mitchell, 18, who was found with apparent gunshot wounds at an apartment near the school's campus after police received a report of shots fired in the area, according to a statement from the Auburn Police Department. He was pronounced dead a short time later. Hart is being held on $150,000 bond. Police said they don’t believe there will be additional arrests in the case, and the motive is under investigation. The shooting happened at the same apartment complex where two former Auburn players were fatally shot in 2012, according to

Mitchell succumbed to his injuries at the East Alabama Medical Center, Auburn Police spokesman Will Matthews told NBC News. Mike Clardy, a spokesman for the university, said "the thoughts and prayers of those at Auburn University go out to Jakell Mitchell's family during this difficult time." The Auburn director of athletics and football coach also released statements, saying their thoughts were with Mitchell’s family. “I'm devastated and saddened by the passing of Jakell Mitchell,” Head Coach Gus Malzahn wrote.

Mitchell is listed on the Auburn Tiger's website as a freshman originally from Opelika, Ala. He was an offensive weapon at Opelika High School, according to the team’s roster. The high school tweeted condolences to Mitchell’s family, and his former football coach, Brian Blackman wrote on Twitter: “The sadness I feel right now is overwhelming.”

Mitchell was redshirted this football season, meaning he practiced with the team but didn't play in games, according to The Associated Press.


— Elisha Fieldstadt, Niven McCall-Mazza and Cassandra Vinograd