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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Two football players from Texas A&M University-Commerce are hospitalized in Miami after being robbed and shot while vacationing in the Miami area for Spring Break.
The school in Commerce, about 15 miles northeast of Greenville, said it learned about the incident Saturday afternoon.
Jay Bias and Xavier Morris are both redshirt junior linebackers and are recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
According to the school’s website, both men are red shirt linebackers for the team.
The school won the Division II, NCAA national championship in football in 2017. Colby Carthel, who was their coach, tweeted, “Please lift up our prayers for Jay Bias and Xavier Morris, two former players of mine who were needlessly robbed and shot while on Spring Break. They’re two fantastic young men who sure didn’t deserve this senseless act.”
One fraternity tweeted, “Our hearts to out to those involved in the events of this past evening. More than ever we must now all come together as Lion family. The brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha are praying for the families of those affected.”
The City of Miami Police Department did confirm it is investigating the shooting.
“All we are able to confirm at this point is that we are handling an investigation where two football player students at Texas A&M University-Commerce, who were here for Spring Break, were robbed at gunpoint and then shot at approximately 5:26 a.m. on Saturday, 3/16 and both were transported to JMH, in stable condition.”
Police say that is the only information they can share as the active investigation continues. A spokeswoman told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that they did not want to hinder the investigation by releasing more information.
Neighbors said the shooting happened at 1845 N.W. 2nd Ave. not far from Jackson Memorial Hospital. It is not known what the men were doing in that neighborhood. It is not known if police have any suspects or a description of them. Shell casings at the crime scene indicated that at least two shots were fired.
Neighbors told D’Oench that they did not hear the sounds of gunfire. A surveillance camera from a nearby apartment building was pointed at the scene of the crime. It’s not known if that has proved useful to police.
Those visiting the college football players at the hospital said they did not want to say anything at this point.
The Bias and Morris families released a joint statement.
“Our families are so grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers that continue for Jay and Xavier. As they continue their remarkable progress and recovery from this unthinkable act of violence, we ask everyone to please respect our families and our focus on their support and recovery, as they are both clinically stable,” the statement reads. “We will not be making further comments on this matter so we can focus on the well-being of our sons and their return to Texas. We appreciate the support and guidance from everyone who is close to our sons, especially Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the administration and coaches from Texas A&M-Commerce.”
According to the school, head coach David Bailiff and athletic director Tim McMurray headed to Florida to be with the students and their families.
“The University and Intercollegiate Athletics extend our thoughts and prayers to both young men and their families,” the school said. “As an institution, we continue to focus on supporting the Bias and Morris families and all those associated with this horrific incident. In response to numerous inquiries of how to best help the families, our Athletics program has worked with the Lone Star Conference and the NCAA to create a Go Fund Me page to assist the family with medical and recovery expenses associated with this event.”
Texas A&M University-Commerce is a NCAA Division II school in the Lone Star Conference. The football team went 10-3 this past season.