Utah’s Ty Jordan died after accidentally shooting himself, authorities say

Ty Jordan, Utah uniform, carries the ball as he runs around and evades a defender.
Utah running back Ty Jordan runs for a score, eluding a tackle by Washington State linebacker Jahad Woods, during a Dec. 19 game in Salt Lake City.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Ty Jordan, a star freshman running back for the University of Utah, died at a Dallas-area hospital after accidentally shooting himself, authorities said Sunday.

University officials announced Jordan’s death Saturday, a day after he was named Pac-12’s newcomer of the year, but did not release details.

Jordan, 19, died in an emergency room at a hospital in Denton around 10:45 p.m. on Christmas Day, according to medical examiner’s records.


Police officers had responded about an hour earlier to reports of a shooting at a home in Denton, a city 40 miles northeast of downtown Dallas. The officers found a man had accidentally shot himself in the hip and began giving first aid, Denton police spokeswoman Allison Beckwith told the Associated Press on Saturday. She said the man later died at a hospital and that investigators did not know how he had come to shoot himself.

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Beckwith declined to identify the man by name, but online case records from the Tarrant County medical examiner on Sunday showed it was Jordan.

Jordan’s cause of death is not yet listed in the records, and officials with the medical examiner’s office could not be immediately reached for comment Sunday. The Denton police did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Jordan came up as a tailback playing in Mesquite, a Dallas suburb about 50 miles southeast of Denton.

Jeff Neill, the head coach at the high school where Jordan played, told the Dallas Morning News, “His smile was infectious, and his spirit shined bright on everyone that knew him.”