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Northwestern State S Ronnie Caldwell killed in shooting

Northwestern State junior safety Ronnie Caldwell was killed in a shooting early Thursday morning, according to police in Natchitoches, La.

Caldwell, 21, was shot multiple times just after 1 a.m. local time at an apartment complex near the university campus, the Natchitoches Police Department told USA Today. The police department also told USA Today that it has a person of interest in Caldwell’s death.

Northwestern State (0-5, 0-1 Southland) canceled its game Saturday at Nicholls in Thibodaux, La., and said in a statement that decisions regarding the remaining games on the schedule will be made as the season progresses.

“The Northwestern State family has suffered a tremendous loss,” head coach Brad Laird said in a statement. “Ronnie Caldwell was a young man who had a bright future ahead of him on or off the football field. He was our voice in the locker room. When Ronnie spoke, others listened. The respect our football team had for Ronnie was evident. He did not play a snap this year because of an injury, but his voice resonated with every member of our team from the first player to the 115th on our roster.”

Caldwell was injured in preseason camp, but he served as a de facto assistant defensive coach on the sideline and traveled with the team.

A business administration major from Austin, Texas, Caldwell attended Cedar Park High School and Tyler (Texas) Junior College before transferring to Northwestern State. He totaled 42 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss, in starting 10 of 11 games.

He was selected to the 2022 Southland Conference Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll after recording a grade-point average of at least 3.0 during the football season.

“We are stunned and saddened by the sudden loss of Ronnie Caldwell,” Northwestern State director of athletics Kevin Bostian said. “Ronnie was a devoted teammate, friend, brother and son. His teammates, coaches and staff members who had the pleasure of knowing Ronnie will remember his ever-present smile and the way he could light up any room when he walked in. Words truly cannot express the heartache we feel for Ronnie, his family, his teammates and our university community.”

–Field Level Media

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