Northwestern State Football Player Ronnie Caldwell Dead at 21 After Being Shot Near Campus

The school's upcoming game against Nicholls State has been canceled.

Northwestern State University safety Ronnie Caldwell was shot and killed early Thursday morning. He was 21.

Natchitoches Police Department Corporal John Greely said officers were called to respond to a shooting at an apartment complex shortly after 1 a.m., as reported by USA Today Sports. When authorities arrived at the scene of the shooting, which was located near campus, Caldwell was found with multiple gunshot wounds. He was later pronounced dead.

Northwestern State head coach Brad Laird released a statement in which he said Caldwell was the "voice of the locker room."

"The Northwestern State family has suffered a tremendous loss," Laird said. "Ronnie Caldwell was a young man who had a bright future ahead of him on or off the football field. He was our voice in the locker room. When Ronnie spoke, others listened. The respect our football team had for Ronnie was evident. He did not play a snap this year because of an injury, but his voice resonated with every member of our team from the first player to the 115th on our roster."

"Our hearts are broken and ache for Ronnie's family and friends. His loss will be felt here at Northwestern State, in Natchitoches and in his home," the statement continued. "We will treasure the time we spent with Ronnie and the memories we made, and we will hold him and his family in our hearts as we attempt to move forward in the days and weeks ahead."

Northwestern State's upcoming game against Nicholls State has been canceled. An investigation into the shooting is underway.

Latest in Sports