Mitchell Killed In Shooting

Auburn freshman Jakell Mitchell was shot and killed overnight at an off-campus apartment complex.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn football program is dealing with tragedy as freshman tight end/H-Back Jakell Mitchell from Opelika was shot and killed at an off-campus apartment complex early Sunday morning. Auburn police have arrested 22-year old Markale Hart of Camp Hill and charged him with the murder. He is currently being held at the Lee County jail on $150,000 bond.

With the help of the Tallapoosa County Sheriff's Department and Jackson's Gap Police, Auburn police detained Hart on Sunday. According to information from the Auburn Police Division, Mitchell died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest sustained during the incident.

Just after midnight on Sunday morning Mitchell was taken to East Alabama Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The incident occured at Tiger Lodge apartments, which is the same apartment complex where Auburn players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips and another man were killed in the summer of 2012. Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery was charged and convicted of capital murder that case.

Mitchell sat out of games as a redshirt during the 2014 season after a stellar career at nearby Opelika High School and was expected to play a big role for the Tigers moving forward. Helping his team to the 6A title game as a junior, Mitchell led Opelika with 26 receptions for 365 yards and also added 14 rushing touchdowns.

He missed his entire senior season after injuring his knee, but was full speed when the Tigers hit the field for fall practice and was impressive during the preseason. With the losses of C.J. Uzomah and Brandon Fulse, Mitchell was expected to play a key role in Auburn’s offense next season as a receiving tight end.

“I’m devastated and saddened by the passing of Jakell Mitchell," Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said, "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.”

Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs also released a statement upon learning of Mitchell's death.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jakell Mitchell’s family and those who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy," Jacobs said. "This is a very trying time for those close to Jakell, including the student-athletes, coaches, staff and Auburn Family. We will provide counseling and support and do everything we can to help them through the grieving process.”

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