Texas prep star Mitchell had verbally committed to OU

Updated: August 25, 2007, 12:02 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- A Houston-area high school football standout who had orally committed to play at the University of Oklahoma next year was shot to death at an apartment complex in Harris County on Friday.

Police arrested a 19-year-old Louisiana man and charged him with murder.

Herman Mitchell, 17, died at Ben Taub General Hospital of multiple wounds, said Lt. John Martin of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The 6-0, 200-pound senior linebacker for Westfield High School had accepted a scholarship offer to play for Oklahoma.

Witnesses reported Mitchell and another teen were fighting in the parking lot before the shooting, Martin said.

"Evidently, they separated and one came back a short time later with a rifle and fired multiple times," Martin told the Houston Chronicle in online editions.

Emile "Rusty" Lewis was taken into custody after the shooting. He was being held in a Harris County jail.

Mitchell was a first-team all-district selection for the Mustangs, who were 13-1 last season and Class 5A Division I Region II semifinalists. With more than 110 tackles last season, he was the team's top returning tackler.

Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops was "stunned" by the news of Mitchell's death, school spokesman Kenny Mossman told the Chronicle.

Mitchell's teammates were on a bus en route to a scrimmage when they heard Mitchell had been shot. Soon after, they learned he had died. The scrimmage was canceled.

"Everybody was in shock," said friend Brodrick Brown, a senior defensive back. "First we heard he was shot and he was on the way to the hospital. Then, 15 minutes later we got news and everybody burst out in tears."

Mitchell was to be a member of the Houston Chronicle's preseason first-team All-Greater Houston football squad.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press