On Sunday the mother of Missouri State freshman football player and former Chaparral High School student Richard Nelson advised that her son had been shot dead outside his southeast Las Vegas home. The 18-year-old college athlete had been trying to stop a fight involving a family member when he was killed.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote that Roxanne Bruce confirmed with the news agency that a shooting on Sacks Drive Saturday night had taken her son’s life. Bruce went on to say that Nelson’s older sister had been involved in a fight with several people outside of the home and he had only been trying to defend her. Richard Nelson played football and basketball and had been a redshirt freshman football player for Missouri State. The circumstances of his death was also confirmed by the assistant director of athletics for Missouri State, Rick Kindhart.
Former Chaparral star athlete and current Missouri State football player shot to death protecting sister https://t.co/UUkPjXMQyP
— Nathan O'Neal (@NateNews3LV) January 16, 2017
A news release given this morning by the detectives investigating the death announced that the authorities were working to identify the shooter. The suspects are also said to have been known to the victim and his family. The Metropolitan Police Department said that the suspect in the shooting is also a teenager and Metro homicide Lt. Dan McGrath is urging the family of the suspect to turn themselves in.
“The mother of the suspect was present during the crime and if she doesn’t come forward, we will find them and make sure they face justice for what happened.”
Officers from the Las Vegas police department found Nelson suffering from multiple gunshot wounds when they responded to the scene at about 7:40 p.m. Bruce said that the person her son had managed to pull off of his sister during the fight then turned around and shot him multiple times.
“My son died in my arms. He took his last breath in my arms.”
The 18-year-old football player at Missouri State had come home to visit for the winter break. Despite his mother’s statement, Nelson was not pronounced dead until he arrived at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. The hospital officials told the boy’s mother that he had been shot a total of four times, three times in the back and once in the chest.
As news of the young athlete’s deadly shooting spread, friends and family of the freshman began to flock to the hospital on Saturday night, including his teammates from school. Kyle Moats, the Athletics Director at Missouri State University also issued a statement mourning the death of Richard Nelson. Local NBC affiliate KSNV News3LV reported that the University will also be offering grief counseling to their student-athletes when they return to school on Monday.
“On behalf of our administration, coaches and student-athletes, we want to express our condolences to Richard’s family and friends. He will be dearly missed by his Missouri State family and the coaches and teammates who knew him so well.”
Chaparral High School also sent out a message offering their condolences and sharing memories of the kin of young man they knew the football player to be.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal awarded Richard Nelson the 2016 Courage Award in recognition of his personal fight against depression and the consequences of growing up in a difficult situation. Nelson’s mother had battled substance abuse problems while he was in middle school and he had been forced to move from his Missouri home to live with his grandmother in Las Vegas. She was able to beat her addiction and attend the ceremony held for her son. Bruce said that her son had been her rock and had given her the strength to win her battle. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound running back also had big plans for his future and had planned to major in occupational therapy.
A GoFundMe campaign was started by Richard Nelson’s family to help cover funeral costs.
[Featured Image by MSU Athletics]