Arkansas State player killed in Tennessee shooting

Markel Owens, 21 (courtesy ASU)

Arkansas State says junior defensive lineman Markel Owens was one of two men killed in a shooting in Jackson, Tenn.

Jackson police are investigating the Wednesday night shooting as a home invasion robbery, according to WBBJ, our ABC station in west Tennessee. Johnny Shivers, 36, was also killed. Shivers' wife and Owens' mother was also shot. She was treated and released from the hospital that night.

Two men reportedly rushed Shivers when he arrived home and forced him inside the apartment. Owens and his mother were already inside the apartment. The suspects demanded money and a fight broke out. Shivers and Owens were both shot during the struggle. One of the gunmen then shot the woman. The robbers got away with a large amount of cash.

Investigators believe Shivers was specifically targeted. Police found a large amount of marijuana inside the home.{} While the motive remains under investigation, police believe the robbers had prior knowledge of the drugs and/or cash inside the apartment.

The suspects are still at large.

ASU's football team released a statement on their Twitter account, @RedWolvesFBall, saying: "Today is a tough day for the Red Wolves family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Markel Owens' family and friends at this difficult time."

Teammates also reacted to the news of Owens' death on Twitter. Brian Davis wrote, "It's like losing one of my brothers. You were always looking out for me. Love you @Oskie2Real one of the best teammates I've ever had...RIP"

Boooker Mays tweeted, "It's a lot of cowards out here in this messed up world!"

Interim Coach John Thompson said, "This is unlike anything that they've (the team) been through before."

The 21-year-old Owens played in 11 games for the Red Wolves last season, helping Arkansas State (8-5) to at least a share of its third straight Sun Belt Conference title and a second straight win in the GoDaddy Bowl.

The 6-foot-2, 303-pound native of Jackson, Tenn., would have been a senior next season.

Click here for more on this story from WBBJ.