Markel Owens signs with Arkansas State University to play football in this February 2010 file photo at Liberty Technology Magnet High School in Jackson. / KATIE BRAKE/The Jackson Sun
JACKSON, Tenn. (The Jackson Sun) -- Captain Tyreece Milller of the Jackson Police Department has called Wednesday night shooting victim Markel Owens a hero.
Miller said Thursday that Owens was shot Wednesday night while defending his mother and stepfather during a robbery.
Police said robbers had followed Owens' stepfather, Johnny Shivers, 36 home to his duplex at 770 Walker Rd.
"I think Mr. Owens had just arrived home minutes before this happened," Miller said. "After interviewing the witnesses about what happened, we believe there was an initial struggle between Shivers and one of the men. We believe Owens attempted to protect his family or defend his mother and stepfather. He could have perhaps saved his mother's life."
Miller said police send their hearts out to the family and that the shooting was a tragic incident for the community.
"I believe Owen's should be regarded as a hero," he said.
Shivers, 36, and Arkansas State University football player Markel Owens, 21, were shot and died from their injuries, police said.
A 37-year-old woman, who was Shivers' wife and Owens' mother, was also shot. She was treated and released last night from Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, police said. The news release did not identify her by name by Owens' mother is Chermaine Owens.
About 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, police were called to a duplex at 770 Walker Road. The woman was lying in the front yard with a gunshot wound. Shivers and Owens were found with gunshot wounds inside the apartment. Shivers was apparently deceased on the scene.
Owens was transported to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and pronounced dead.
Investigators have learned that Shivers was arriving home when he was rushed by two masked men and forced inside the apartment. The robbers demanded money, and a struggle ensued. Owens and his mother were inside the apartment. During the struggle, Owens helped Shivers and began fighting one of the men. Shivers and Owens were both shot during the struggle, police said.
(Written by Jordan Buie, The Jackson Sun)