Suspect wanted for murder of former Bama football player
Published 5:50 pm Thursday, August 21, 2014
Authorities are searching for a second suspect believed to be involved in the Wednesday night murder of a former University of Alabama football player.
Ozell Powell, a defensive lineman at Alabama from 1993-96, was shot and killed at Creekstone Apartments in Greenville around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
According to authorities, Powell, 40, had two gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen area. He was transported to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Eric Simmons, 22, of Greenville, was arrested at approximately 1 a.m. Thursday and charged with murder. He’s being held in the Butler County Correctional Facility.
On Thursday, the Greenville Police Department also secured a warrant for the arrest of 22-year-old Samarjay Peterson.
“We had a good idea last night that he was involved, but we just couldn’t nail down a name,” Lt. Justin Lovvorn said. “He’s not from around here, and not in the area often. We talked to several witnesses who knew what he looked like, but didn’t have a name. We knocked on doors until we were able to get enough information to get a name and a warrant.”
Lovvorn said authorities believe Simmons and Peterson are the only two suspects who participated in the shooting.
Authorities declined to name a cause for the shooting, as the investigation is still ongoing.
Powell was a standout football player at Greenville High School earning all-state honors as a senior.
As a member of the Tide, Powell started 25 games and was credited with 67 tackles, including three for a loss and four sacks. As a senior, he intercepted a pass in the SEC championship game against Florida and returned it 22 yards.
Following college, Powell spent two seasons on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad before signing as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons in 2000. He was drafted in 2001 by the XFL’s Birmingham Bolts.