Former UCF running back Otis Anderson Jr. killed in shooting

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Former University Christian School running back Otis Anderson Jr., a back-to-back state champion on his way to a noted football career at the University of Central Florida and a trip to the NFL, is being mourned in a domestic shooting Monday night.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested the 23-year-old's father at their home, where the mother also was grazed by bullets. Denise Anderson, 49, told investigators her husband became enraged after being bit by a dog that belonged to their son's girlfriend, according to the arrest report.

Otis Lee Anderson Sr., who turned 52 Tuesday, is charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

Anderson Jr., who is not related to NFL great Ottis "OJ" Anderson, played as a breakaway running back and kick returner at University Christian, where he won Florida High School Athletic Association championships for Class 2A in 2015 and 2016. He gained more than 1,000 yards in each of his last two seasons at the school.

UCF running back Otis Anderson Jr. runs the ball against BYU in December 2020.
UCF running back Otis Anderson Jr. runs the ball against BYU in December 2020.

At UCF, Anderson played for the Knights from 2017-20, including the program's perfect 13-0 season in 2017. He concluded his college career eighth in UCF history in all-purpose yards with 3,708, eighth in touchdowns with 27 and second in yards per carry with 6.1.

In a statement released to social media Tuesday, UCF's athletic department said, "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 Los Angeles Rams signed Anderson as an undrafted free agent in June but released him from the practice squad in September.

Officers were called to the home about 9:20 p.m. and found Anderson Jr. suffering from at least one gunshot to the chest, according to the arrest report. He was pronounced dead at UF Health Jacksonville, while his mother was treated and released.

His mother said the elder Anderson was "upset and he was bleeding throughout the house" after suffering the dog bite, according to the report. Anderson Jr. came downstairs to see what happened and got into an argument with his father.

His mother told him to go back upstairs, which he apparently did. Then she and her husband began to argue, the report said.

The father "flipped the downstairs recliner," which caused the son to come back downstairs to check on his mother. Father and son got into another argument, and "it appeared like they were going to fight," the arrest report said.

The son went to the dining room, while his father went into the garage. The father came back in and met his son in the kitchen.

The next part of the report is redacted. But it is apparently when the shooting occurred as the narrative continues by stating that a detective looked at the son's wounds and "observed what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his chest and back [shoulder blade]."

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Otis Anderson Jr., former UFC running back, dies in shooting