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Ex-UCF Running Back’s Dad Charged With Son’s Fatal Shooting Over Alleged Dog Bite

“He was revered by his teammates, our fans, and everyone within Knight Nation,” University of Central Florida Athletics said in a statement confirming the death of former running back Otis Anderson Jr.

By Dorian Geiger
Otis Anderson Jr G

A former varsity running back was allegedly gunned down by his own father at the family’s Florida home after the two got into a physical argument over a dog bite. 

Otis Anderson Sr., 52, is accused of fatally shooting his son, former University of Central Florida Knights running back, Otis Anderson Jr., following a domestic incident Monday night.

Authorities say Otis Anderson Sr. became “upset” and opened fire on his son after being bitten by a dog owned by the college football player’s girlfriend, according to an arrest report obtained by Oxygen.com.

Police were dispatched to the family’s home in Jacksonville shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 after reports of a shooting.

Upon arrival, Otis Anderson Jr. was found suffering from at least one gunshot wound to his chest. His girlfriend, who wasn’t identified by investigators, had also been grazed by multiple bullets. The couple was rushed to the hospital where Otis Anderson Jr. was pronounced dead. 

His girlfriend, who was later discharged, told detectives that the father and son began quarreling after her dog bit Otis Anderson Sr.

“This made Anderson Sr. upset and he was bleeding throughout the house,” the arrest report stated. “[Victim] came downstairs to see what happened and got into a verbal altercation with Anderson Sr.” 

The elder Anderson later “flipped” a recliner chair in the home’s living room and ultimately opened fire on his son with a revolver. According to the arrest report, Otis Anderson Jr.’s girlfriend told investigators she then heard a “pow” followed by her boyfriend stating “you shot me.” The unidentified woman told police she attacked Otis Anderson Sr. with the handle of a Swiffer, at which point he also opened fire on her.

Law enforcement seized the murder weapon, a well as several bullet projectiles from the home.

Under questioning, Otis Anderson Sr. admitted he’d become angry after being bit by the dog, however, he insisted the shooting stemmed from a domestic argument between his son and his girlfriend. The 52-year-old claimed he’d broken up a “pushing match” between Otis Anderson Jr. and his girlfriend before shots were fired. He said he had no memory of shooting his son’s girlfriend or getting into a physical altercation with her prior to police arriving. He instead claimed Otis Anderson Jr.’s girlfriend, “must have gotten in between them” when shots rang out. Otis Anderson Sr. also told law enforcement if ‘“he could do it again, he would ‘take the black eye,’” according to the arrest report.

Otis Anderson Sr. was since charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. 

“The men and women of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office join me in mourning with the Anderson family as they deal with last night’s incredible tragedy," Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said in a statement sent to Oxygen.com. "While the investigation continues to be carried out, we would encourage everyone to keep the family in your prayers as they work through this very difficult time.”

The University of Central Florida also confirmed Otis Anderson Jr.’s death in a statement issued Wednesday.

“[We] are devastated to hear of the passing of Otis Anderson Jr.,” University of Central Florida Athletics said in the statement sent to Oxygen.com. “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.”

Anderson, a prolific running back and receiver, scored a total of 27 career touchdowns and racked up 2,182 career rushing yards for the University of Central Florida Knights between 2017 and 2020.  

“Saddened and stunned by the passing of Otis Anderson Jr,” Josh Heupel, his former coach, said in a Twitter statement. “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. My condolences go out to the entire UCF family.”

Anderson, who graduated in 2020, majored in interdisciplinary studies and minored in leadership studies, a university spokesperson confirmed. He was also a member of the campus’ Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Otis Andreson Jr. previously graduated from University Christian high school in Jacksonville. 

Otis Anderson Sr., was booked into a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office jail Tuesday morning, according to online records. He’s being held without bond pending his next court appearance on Dec. 22. The 52-year-old has been appointed legal counsel, however, contact information wasn’t immediately available for his public defender.

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