Former UCF football player allegedly killed by his father in dispute over dog bite

Mary Holt
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A former college football standout was gunned down in Florida by his father following an argument they had over a dog bite, officials said Tuesday.

Gunfire erupted near just before 9:30 p.m. Monday in northwest Jacksonville, where officers found "two victims with gunshot wounds, one adult Black male and one adult Black female," according to a statement from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

They were both taken to the hospital, where the man, shot in the chest and shoulder, was pronounced dead, authorities said.

"All involved parties are believed to be related, this incident was domestic in nature, and there are no outstanding suspects," according to the sheriff's statement.

Authorities didn't immediately name the victims, but court documents later identified the suspect as Otis Lee Anderson, 52.

The University of Central Florida mourned the loss of 23-year-old Otis Anderson Jr., a former star running back for the Knights.

The fatal confrontation began after "Otis Lee Anderson Sr. got bit by (the victim's) girlfriend's dog" and "was bleeding throughout the house," according to a booking and arrest report.

The suspect then flipped a reclining chair before the two continued their argument, officials said.

The heavily redacted report quoted Anderson Sr. saying "Anderson Jr. charged at him" but it wasn't clear if the suspect was claiming self-defense.

Anderson Sr. also "stated multiple times that Anderson Jr. had never disrespected him before this incident," according to the report.

The father was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of his wife, Denise Anderson, records showed.

A lawyer for Anderson Sr. could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.

“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,” according to a UCF statement.

“Our deepest condolences go out to everyone who loved Otis. He was taken too soon and will truly be missed.”

Anderson Jr. rushed for 2,182 yards during his four-year UCF career, making him the ninth most prolific rusher in school history.

“My brief interaction with him was special — he cared very deeply for UCF,” said university Athletic Director Terry Mohajir, who came on the job shortly after Anderson’s Knights football career ended. “I’m hopeful that all who knew him can somehow find peace, especially his teammates.”

Anderson was not drafted but spent this past training camp with the Los Angeles Rams before he was cut.

University of Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel, who was Anderson's coach at UCF, fondly remembered his former player's toughness on the field and good nature off the gridiron.

"Saddened and stunned by the passing of Otis Anderson Jr.," Heupel tweeted Tuesday. "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."

Otis Anderson Jr. is not related to Super Bowl XXV MVP Ottis “O.J.” Anderson of the New York Giants.

"So deeply saddened today to hear about the murder of Otis Anderson Jr.," Ottis Anderson said in a statement on Tuesday. "I have no words. Please say a prayer for the healing of his mother."

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