University of Memphis football player killed in on-campus shooting

Courtesy WMCTV-Memphis


The University of Memphis has scheduled a news conference at 12:00pm today to issue a statement and update the public regarding the deadly shooting Sunday night on the school's campus.

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A University of Memphis football player was fatally shot on campus and classes were canceled Monday, although police believe the shooting was not random, officials said.

University officials said a student was shot in the chest while in the vicinity of the Carpenter Complex around 9:45 p.m. Sunday.  The student drove to the intersection of Zach Curlin and Central, where he was involved in a single car automobile accident.

Taylor Bradford, 21, was taken to The MED at 10:15 p.m. CDT and was pronounced dead, hospital spokeswoman Sandy Snell told the Associated Press.

University police declined to release the name of the student, but the incident "may have involved a current or former football player," said Bob Winn, associate athletic director at University of Memphis.

Bradford, a 5-foot-11, 300-pound defensive lineman from Nashville, is a junior who transferred to Memphis after two seasons at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

Memphis Police investigators said the victim's identity would not be officially released until family members were notified of the death.

University officials closed residence halls on campus for about a half-hour after the shooting before police acquired information that the shooting was likely personal, spokesman Curt Gunther said.

After the shooting, students complained the Tiger Text emergency alert text messaging service did not immediately notify them of the shooting.  A message sent at 4:00 a.m. Monday morning informed students classes were canceled Monday.

Officials said classes were canceled to allow a Memphis Police investigation into the incident to continue.

The Memphis Tigers football teams is scheduled to host Marshall University's Thundering Herd Tuesday night. A moment of silence has been planned before the game.

"Our entire football team is deeply saddened by the loss of Taylor," head coach Tommy West said in a statement. "He was well respected and a popular member of our team. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  Stay with for updates on this story.  A full press release from the University of Memphis is reprinted below.


Classes Canceled for Monday, October 1, 2007

Main Campus Only

Police Services is issuing this message in an effort to continue to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

On Sunday, September 30, 2007, around 9:45 PM, a student was shot in the vicinity of the Carpenter Complex.  He then drove to Zach Curlin and Central and was involved in a single car automobile accident.  He was transported to the MED where he was pronounced dead.

While suspect information cannot be released at this time, the initial investigation indicates this was an act directed specifically toward the victim and was not a random act of violence.  During the preliminary investigation all residence halls were closed shortly after the incident.  However, subsequent information revealed that the persons responsible left the University area immediately. Residence halls will reopen at 7:00 AM on October 1, 2007.

The Memphis Police Department's Homicide Bureau is leading the investigation with the assistance of the University Police.  The investigation is continuing and further information will be made available as it develops.

If you have any information related to this incident, please call the University Police at 678-4357 (HELP), e-mail, or submit a tip anonymously at

Classes at the main campus only are canceled on Monday, October 1, 2007, to allow time for further police investigation, and to ensure the well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors.

President Raines has announced that all University offices will be open to allow students to have access to counselors and advisors.  While classes are canceled on Monday, October 1, 2007, when they resume on October 2 professors should take into account the effect this event may have had on students.  Students are encouraged to speak with their professors if they feel the need.

Plans for memorial services and other responses to this tragedy will be announced by the Student Government Association and the Office of Student Affairs.

Bruce Harber

Director of Police Services

The University of Memphis