Southern Miss DB M.J. Daniels Killed in Senseless Hattiesburg Apartment Complex Shooting

    Former Ole Miss and current Southern Miss DB MJ Daniels was tragically killed in a shooting which occurred Tuesday evening.

    Former Ole Miss and Southern Miss defensive back M.J. Daniels reportedly suffered a gunshot wound in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, after 9 p.m. on Tuesday at an apartment complex. According to the Miami Herald, the 21-year-old succumbed to his injury and passed away just an hour later. The investigation is still open at this time.

    Southern Miss put out a statement, sending their condolences to Daniels’ family and friends while also opening their counseling services to members of the football program and individuals close to the university.

    “The University of Southern Mississippi and the Department of Athletics mourn the loss of M.J. Daniels whose life was lost Tuesday evening during an incident that occurred off campus. We send our sincere condolences to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”

    Former teammates and coaches also posted on social media following Daniels’ death, including Southern Miss head coach Will Hall and Ole Miss coordinator of recruiting strategy Kelvin Bolden.

    “We are deeply saddened by the loss of MJ Daniels,” Hall’s post said. “His smile was infectious and lit up the room. Please keep MJ’s loved ones and our Southern Miss family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

    Bolden’s tribute included a picture of Daniels and stated, “You’ll be missed.. R.I.P MJ 🙏🏾Sending my prayers & condolences to MJ’s family & friends, the George County Community, & Southern Miss Football.”

    Daniels graduated from George County High School in 2021, receiving several scholarship offers before committing to the Rebels. Following two seasons in Oxford, he opted to transfer to Southern Miss and started the final eight games at cornerback in 2023 and tied for the team lead in interceptions (three).

    “He loved life, always had a smile on his face, always fun to be around, loved football dearly,” GCHS head coach James Ray, who coached Daniels for all four of his high school seasons, told the Miami Herald.

    “It breaks my heart to hear of this. Great guy, great teammate, great football player, and will be dearly missed. I love this guy. He would come to my house and hang out, even when he was at Ole Miss and even when he was at Southern. Just devastated and heartbroken about what we heard today.”

    Daniels was more than a football player. He was a son, grandson, friend, and, most importantly, a young man barely beginning to make his impact on the world. While he was taken too soon in a senseless tragedy, Daniels’ spirit lives on in those who loved him most.

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