Former Temple University Football Star Zaire Williams Shot and Killed in Philadelphia

Zaire Williams, a former running back for Temple University and later at the University of Maine, has died. He was 25.

The athlete was reportedly shot after a fistfight broke out in the early hours of Monday morning at a bar near the Philadelphia campus, CBS Philly reported Monday.

The fight, which took place outside the Johnny Walker Bar south of the college campus around 4 a.m., ended but Williams was late shot in the head, the outlet reports.

Police have identified a suspect after recovering a gun from the scene of the incident, according to CBS. The Philadelphia Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

The Temple Owls’ official Twitter account confirmed Williams’ death on Monday afternoon.

“Thoughts and prayers to the family of former Temple Football player Zaire Williams,” read the tweet, which was also shared by the Temple Football account.

Williams played for Temple from 2013 to 2014 before transferring to the University of Maine after suffering a back injuring in his sophomore year, according to NBC 10 Philadelphia.

But his injuries didn’t stop him from being a standout player in his freshman year. According to NBC 10, Williams was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team in 2013 and was given an honorable mention for the All-Freshman team that year.

In 2013, Williams rushed 533 yards putting him on the university’s all-time freshman rushing list.

In 2016, the player helped the University of Maine Black Bears on a five-game winning streak. However, he left the school prior to the following season as he did not make the academic requirements, according to Bangor Daily News.

Before playing in college, Williams was ranked New Jersey’s 16th best football player while he played at Timber Creek High School in Sicklerville, New Jersey.

“Man…….. life is short i can’t believe this news.. RIP Zaire,” wrote Williams’ former teammate and current XFL player PJ Walker on Twitter. “#23 My brotha!! 4L.”

“Another soul gone too soon again,” wrote current Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement on Instagram, according to NBC 10. “Rest up!”

“Zaire was a phenomenal player. Phenomenal person,” said Timber Creek High School assistant football coach Amin Muhammad, of the late athlete, per NBC 10. “Very encouraging. One of those people that you could depend on in tough situations. Either way, he was always there for you.”

A memorial for Williams was held Monday night in Sicklerville, according to CBS.


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