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Yet another student athlete is a victim of a nightclub shooting. University of Southern Mississippi linebacker Martez Smith was shot outside a Hattiesburg nightclub over the weekend. Two of his teammates were also shot in the incident. Smith is paralyzed from the waist down after the shooting and is unlikely to ever walk again.
Martez Smith and several other Southern Mississippi players went out to celebrate their upset win over Central Florida on Saturday night, USA Today reports. Central Florida was ranked number 25 in the nation. After the club closed, Smith, Tim Green and Deddrick Jones were all shot outside. A bullet severed Smith's spinal cord, Green took a shot in the neck, severing his vocal cords, and Jones took a bullet in the chest. All three were taken to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg and are expected to survive.
Police have already apprehended two people involved in the shooting and are on the lookout for the alleged assailant. Patricia Loftin Brown, 49, and Cleothus Wilkerson, 25, are facing three counts of accessory after the fact of aggravated assault. Travis Brown, the alleged shooter, is facing three counts of aggravated assault and has a warrant out for his arrest. Brown and Wilkerson are currently being held without bail.
Aggravated assault is an assault that typically includes an aggravated circumstance, such as the use of a weapon, the status of the victim, the intent of the perpetrator, and the degree of injury caused. Assaults which happen in the victim's home can also qualify as an aggravated assault. In most states, assaults causing "serious bodily injury" qualify as aggravated assaults.
It's not a case that one can make much sense of. The best we can do is hope that the perpetrators are caught and appropriately punished.