AUBURN HALFBACK Jakell Lenard Mitchell was fatally shot early yesterday at an off-campus apartment complex where two former football players and another man were shot and killed in 2012.

Auburn Police Capt. Will Matthews said police answered a call about 12:25 a.m. of shots fired at the Tiger Lodge apartment complex, a few miles from the campus. He said the 18-year-old freshman was taken to a hospital in nearby Opelika, Ala., where he was pronounced dead.

Matthews said later in a statement that 22-year-old Markale Deandra Hart, of Camp Bill, Ala., was arrested on a felony warrant charging him with murder. Police add Hart is being held at a county jail.

It was not immediately known if Hart had an attorney and the statement didn't provide any details of how he was taken into custody. Police also disclosed in the statement that Mitchell received multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.

The statement said no additional arrests are expected at this time.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement that he was "devastated and saddened" by the death of the promising player, a halfback described by the team website as versatile on offense with blocking, catching and running skills.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Jakell's family and friends, who are suffering through this senseless tragedy. I know the Auburn family is hurting, especially our players and coaches, and we are going to love and support them through this difficult time. We have lost a member of our family too young, too soon," Malzahn's statement said.

The gated apartment complex was quiet yesterday morning, but there were large amounts of broken glass in the parking lot and blue spray paint on the ground where police marked possible evidence. Auburn police watched as a red car bearing the license plate "Jakell" was towed away from the site.

Mitchell redshirted this season. Able to play both back and tight end, he was expected to contend for a starting spot next season, reports indicated.

Drake Ledet, an Auburn sophomore who lives in an apartment near the scene of the shooting, told the Associated Press he heard several gunshots shortly after midnight.

"I'd say it was at least eight [shots]," Ledet said, adding he looked outside to see what was happening. "People were screaming . . . I saw people scattering everywhere, getting in their cars."

Ledet and other residents said there were two parties going on Saturday night at the complex. Students had just finished with final exams on Friday and winter graduation ceremonies were held Saturday.


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