Former UCF running back Otis Anderson Jr. was shot and killed at his parents' home in Jacksonville, Florida, on Monday evening, and his father has been charged in his death, shocking former teammates, coaches and those who knew him best in his Central and North Florida communities.
According to an arrest report released by the Jacksonville Sherriff's Office on Tuesday, Otis Anderson Jr.'s mother, Denise, told police that Anderson Jr. and his father, Otis Anderson Sr., got into an argument that escalated and then involved her. Anderson Jr. and Anderson Sr. eventually separated, but Denise Anderson told police that Anderson Sr. returned from the garage and met Anderson Jr. in the kitchen.
When police arrived, they found Anderson Jr. suffering from at least one gunshot wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Denise Anderson was hospitalized with multiple graze wounds but later discharged.
Anderson Sr. was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. On Tuesday, he appeared in front of a judge, who found probable cause on the charges. Anderson Sr. was being held without bond and appointed a public defender. His next court appearance is set for Dec. 22.
Anderson Jr., 23, played at UCF from 2017 to 2020, rushing for 2,182 yards and 17 touchdowns, while catching 91 passes for 1,025 yards and nine touchdowns. Nicknamed "Juice" because of his OJ initials, he was beloved around the football team and known for his uplifting smile and personality.
UCF said in a statement, "We have now confirmed and are devastated to hear of the passing of Otis Anderson Jr. He was revered by his teammates, our fans, and everyone within Knight Nation. Our deepest condolences go out to everyone who loved Otis. He was taken too soon and will truly be missed."
The tributes poured onto social media throughout the day Tuesday. Anderson's jersey and flowers were placed on the football field, and UCF put photos of him on their videoboard inside the football facility lobby.
His former coach Josh Heupel posted a statement on Twitter, writing, "Saddened and stunned by the passing of Otis Anderson Jr. Tough and gritty, fun and full of laughter, he made such a positive impact on our university, community, and our locker room. He was an unbelievable teammate. My condolences go out to the entire UCF family."
Anderson was with the Los Angeles Rams for training camp this year. The NFL franchise said in a statement that "he was a promising young man with a bright future. Our sincere condolences are with his family during this very difficult time."