Otis Anderson Jr, the one-time running back for the University of Central Florida Knights, was shot and killed in a domestic dispute Monday night, local reports indicate.
Police said his father, Otis Anderson Sr, shot the 23-year-old and his mother, Denise, during an argument about a dog bite. Both were rushed to a nearby hospital, where Anderson Jr was pronounced dead. Denise Anderson was treated and later released.
Anderson Sr, 52, was charged with the murder of his son and attempted murder of his wife. He’s being held without bond as of Wednesday, and is due back in court later this month.
Police: Father Shot, Killed Otis Anderson Jr
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Otis Anderson Jr was at his North Jacksonville home at 9:30 Monday night when his father was bitten by his girlfriend’s dog.
Denise Anderson reportedly told authorities that her husband was angered by the incident, when her son came down downstairs to see what had happened. The men began to argue, she said, but she convinced her son to go back upstairs.
Anderson Sr, his wife told investigators, was still upset and flipped over a recliner in the living room. The noise, Denise said, drew her son back downstairs, where he and his father argued again and “looked as though they were going to fight,” according to News 4 Jax.
Anderson Jr and his father reportedly separated, but later were in the kitchen together. The rest of the incident report was redacted, local outlets said.
Police who responded to the scene said Anderson Jr appeared to have been shot in the chest, while his mother reportedly had “graze wounds.” First responders rushed them to UF Health hospital, where Anderson Jr was declared dead and his mother was treated for her injuries.
Jacksonville jail records show Anderson Sr was booked into the Duval County lockup early Tuesday morning, where he’s facing two felony murder charges. The Orlando Sentinel reported the 52-year-old was granted a public defender at his arraignment Tuesday afternoon, and that the judge ordered he remain in custody until trial.
If convicted of murder, Anderson Sr could face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
UCF Knights Community Shaken by Tragedy
The University of Central Florida’s football program — where Otis Anderson Jr played from 2017 to 2020 — united in grief Tuesday after his passing was announced.
“He was revered by his teammates, our fans, and everyone within Knight Nation,” read a post on the official UCF Football Twitter page. “He was taken too soon and will truly be missed.”
“Saddened and stunned by the passing of Otis Anderson Jr,” wrote Josh Heupel, former Knights head coach. “Tough and gritty, fun and full of laughter, he made such a positive impact on our university, community, and our locker room. He was an unbelievable teammate.”
During his time with the UCF squad, Anderson Jr (nicknamed “Juice”) was an offensive asset. As a running back, Anderson Jr was school’s ninth-best rusher of all time with 2,182 career yards and 17 touchdowns. The 23-year-old was also integral to the Knights’ passing game, catching at least nine touchdowns in his short tenure.
Anderson Jr was not drafted into the NFL this year, though he was at training camp with the Los Angeles Rams before being sent home at the beginning of the season in September.
“Rest in Heaven Otis,” wrote Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey in an emotional Twitter post on Tuesday. “We gotta do better on this earth […] Big prayers up.”