Players, fans react to ASU football player's death

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Players and fans were shocked at the news of ASU football player Markel Owens' death.

According to the Jackson Police Department, Owens was shot and killed Wednesday night at his home in Jackson, TN.

"He's like my little brother. I took him in for about three and a half years, and to see him be gone like that, I can't believe it," defensive end Darius Dunaway said.

Dunaway met Owens when he joined the football team his freshman year. Since then, they have been inseparable.

"I still can't accept it. All I can do is pray about it, pray for him and his family. But it's a tough situation," Dunaway said.

The last time Dunaway saw Owens was when the team got back from the 2014 GoDaddy Bowl.

"We embraced each other and he told me that he'll miss me, and I told him how I'd still be in Jonesboro at all the games watching him because this was gonna be his big year. He was gonna have a starting position," Dunaway said. "And I told him I'd be there to support him all the way through, and I told him that I'd miss him, but I'd always be around for him."

Dunaway said Owens had the rest of his life to live. He wanted to get married, play in the NFL and start his own business.

"I thought he could be successful in whatever he wanted to do because he had drive. He had a drive like none other and I appreciated that. That's why I looked up to him, for his drive, his hard work," Dunaway said.

Dunaway said Owens will now live on in his fond memories of him.

"He was a funny guy. That's something I'll never forget about him. He would dance just randomly, kind of like I do. And that's what I enjoyed about him most. He'd crack jokes, he would laugh with you, he'll light up a room," Dunaway said.

Dunaway said Owens was everything he wanted to be.

"There's nothing really bad that I can say about him because he was just that good of a person. That's why I'm so shocked about it. That's why it hurts so bad that it was him," Dunaway said.

Students were also heartbroken when they heard the news.

"It's sad. I mean, they're really young and I couldn't imagine if it was someone really close to me passing away, and like how his family feels and people here on campus," freshman Angelica Munoz said.

"It's pretty tragic, especially after the success we had. I mean, we just got a bowl win and then hearing this and school's about to start so everyone's gonna be pretty upset about it," senior Matthew Tegeler said.

However, Darius said Owens would want people to do what he did best: smile.

"If he was listening to this, I'd tell him I'll never forget you. I miss laughing with you already. I can't believe it, but I know you're in a way better place than here. You're making a whole lot more people smile. I love you and I can't wait to be up there with you in heaven," Dunaway said.

For more on Markel Owens' murder click here.

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