- (Photo: Facebook/OJ Murdoch)
Tennessee Titans receiver Orenthal James "O.J." Murdock was found dead outside a Florida high school Monday morning. The young athlete died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Tampa police officials.
"At approximately 8:30 a.m., officers discovered the victim's body in his car in front of Middleton High School with an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound. He was transported to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition where he died at 10:43 a.m. He is a Tennessee Titans football player," read a news release Monday from the Tampa Police Department.
According to Tampa Bay Online, the 25-year-old athlete graduated from Middleton High School in 2006.
Murdock was supposed to be with his Titan teammates in training camp, but requested a pass due to "personal reasons." He was listed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list, according to Tampa Bay Online.
"We are shocked and saddened to hear of O.J. Murdock's death this morning," the Titans said in a statement obtained by CBS Sports. "In his brief time here, a number of our players, coaches and staff had grown close to O.J., and this is a difficult time for them. He spent the last year battling back from an Achilles injury as he prepared for this year's training camp. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they try to cope with this tragedy."
The Florida athlete had joined the Titans in 2011, but spent most of last season on the injury list and did not play any games for the team.
Murdock had apparently been on a road trip sometime last month and tweeted a photo on June 21 from his travels with followers on Twitter.
It was not immediately known if the young athlete attended church but he was a Christian, as indicated on his Facebook profile. Murdock noted on his profile that his favorite verse was Philippians 4:13, which reads: "I can do ALL THINGS through Christ, who strengthens me."
Murdock also often shared motivational posts from hip-hop star Rev. Run of Run DMC fame with his Twitter followers, in adidtion to his own thoughts on faith.
He tweeted to his 234 followers on June 16: "Walk by faith, Not by sight... See the blooming flowers in the sea of darkness #real."
Police have yet to reveal a motive for the suicide and neither have they shared if any suicide notes had been found with Murdock in his vehicle.