A freshman linebacker on the Arkansas Pine-Bluff football team was shot to death outside his home, the school confirmed to the Associated Press.
Lydell Hartford Jr., 20, died early Tuesday at his home in Waggaman, La.. The Jefferson Parish Sherrif's Office said Hartford was fatally shot by a 16-year old friend who was playing with a gun. The teen reportedly thought the gun was unloaded and squeezed the trigger several times.
"Our hearts and prayers really go out to Hartford and his family," Pine Bluff football coach Monte Coleman said in an official statement. "He was proud to be a part of the team -- I am sad to see another young person leave this earth too soon. He will be missed."
The teen was arrested on a negligent homicide charge for his role in the incident.
Defensive coordinator Earl Buckingham told the Associated Press that the team is mourning the loss. He said Hartford, who was a walk-on for the Golden Lions, a "good kid" and loved playing for the team.