Eastern Michigan football player Demarius Reed was shot to death Friday in what authorities are calling a homicide possibly connected to a robbery.
The junior wide receiver was found by his roommate at around 7:15 a.m. local time in a hallway of an off-campus, University Green apartment building. Robbery was suspected as a possible motive, though no one is in custody, Ypsilanti police said in a statement.
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"The EMU family has suffered an unbelievable loss today," Heather Lyke, vice president and athletic director at the school, said in a statement. "Demarius was an influential leader
who thrived in the classroom and on the field. Everyone gravitated to him and often described him as the 'life of the locker room.'"
The team is scheduled to face Ohio University on Saturday, and the game is expected to be played, The Associated Press said
. Reed had appeared in all six games this season, and caught 15 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown.
"The circumstances involving his death remain under investigation at this time by the Ypsilanti Police Department," EMU President Susan Martin said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and his teammates on the football team."
News of Reed's death shook the collegiate community as well as the Chicago area where he went to Simeon Academy, which also produced Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose. Grief counselors met Friday with Reed's EMU teammates.
Reed was a Communication, Media and Theatre Arts major at the school, but his sole focus was to play in the NFL.
"Special teams — anything — just to have an opportunity to make it in the NFL was his lifelong dream," his father, Carl Reed told the Chicago Tribune
. "He was definitely looking for a shot to participate in the NFL but ... he recognized it's a long shot, but he still tried to pursue that goal. He was always a joy to be around. He was smart, intelligent, athletic. He was a good son ... He was my best friend. He was developing to be such a positive young man."
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