Rams mourn the death of Otis Anderson Jr.

Otis Anderson Jr. runs on the field during a Rams game in August.
Los Angeles Rams running back Otis Anderson Jr. plays in August at SoFi Stadium. Anderson died Tuesday in a shooting.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams organization and players are mourning the death of Otis Anderson Jr., a running back who played for the team during the preseason.

Anderson died Tuesday after he was shot Monday night at his home in North Jacksonville, Fla., the Orlando Sentinel reported. His father, Otis Anderson Sr., was charged with first-degree murder in Anderson’s death and with the first-degree attempted murder of his wife, Denise Anderson, the newspaper reported.

“The Rams are saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of Otis Anderson Jr.,” the team said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Our sincere condolences are with his family during this very difficult time. Rest in Peace, Otis.”


Anderson played in college at Central Florida and signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent. He ranks second all-time at UCF with an average of 6.1 yards per carry, rushing for 2,182 yards and scoring 27 touchdowns in his college career.

He returned punts and kickoffs in preseason games against the Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders. In the preseason finale against the Denver Broncos, he rushed for 10 yards in three carries and caught two passes for 16 yards. He was released as the Rams trimmed their roster to 53 players before the season.

“Just being around him, he had just such a bright smile,” Rams coach Sean McVay said Wednesday. “He was always so engaged, had a good look in his eye. He was just such a joy to be around. Such a shame. ... It was great to be able to be around him. Terribly sorry for him and all the people affected by that, they’re in our thoughts and prayers, but loved being around Otis and he was a real joy to be around.”

Central Florida said in a statement that it was “devastated” by Anderson’s death.

“He was revered by his teammates, our fans, and everyone within Knight Nation,” the school said in statement on its website. “Our deepest condolences go out to everyone who loved Otis. He was taken too soon and will truly be missed.”

At least two Rams players tweeted after learning of Anderson’s death.