OXFORD, Miss. -- Mississippi sprinter Rodney Lydale Lockhart
was found shot to death Saturday at his apartment near the Ole Miss
Lockhart, a junior psychology major from Vaiden, was a member of
the gold medal-winning U.S. 1,600-meter relay team in the 2006
World Junior Championships in Beijing.
Oxford police were called to Lockhart's apartment about 10 a.m.
Saturday after a 911 call from a man who said he found the runner
lying on the floor. The 20-year-old Lockhart was pronounced dead at
the scene by Lafayette County Coroner Lonnie Weaver, according to a
news release by Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin.
"This is an unbelievable thing, and I'm having difficulty
processing it," said Mississippi track coach Joe Walker.
Lockhart's death is being investigated as a homicide by the
Oxford Police Department and the Mississippi Bureau of
Investigations, Martin said.
At the 2006 SEC Outdoor Championships, Lockhart finished ninth
in the 400 meters and was a member of the 1,600-meter relay team
that finished eighth. At the 2006 SEC Indoor Championships, he
finished eighth in the 400 meters and was part of a 1,600-meter
relay team that finished fifth.
Dean of Students Thomas J. "Sparky" Reardon and University
Counseling Center Director Mark Showalter met with the team
"We are deeply saddened by Rodney's death," Walker said. "Our
thoughts and prayers are with Rodney's family and friends."