Edmonton Elks running back Christian Saulsberry dies in shooting near Memphis

Edmonton Elks running back Christian Saulsberry was shot and killed near Memphis, Tenn., the team announced Saturday.

Saulsberry had turned 25 on Monday. According to a statement from the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department, he was shot in the abdomen and leg while attending a party early Saturday morning in Walls, Miss., which is just southwest of Memphis.

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to his family during this incredibly difficult time,” the Elks said in a statement. “Our condolences are also extended to his friends, including the many teammates and coaches both here in Edmonton and elsewhere, that he impacted throughout his football career.”

The statement from DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office said Saulsberry was pronounced dead on the way to hospital.

It said Mark McDaniel, 24, of Memphis was arrested at his home by Memphis Police on Saturday afternoon and is charged with second-degree murder.

The statement said the investigation remains ongoing, and that it cannot release any further information at this time.

Saulsberry, a native of Southaven, Miss., played in eight games for Edmonton in 2022.

“Our hearts are heavy with the news of the passing of a member of our CFL family,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement on Twitter. “Christian Saulsberry will be dearly missed by his family, friends, teammates, coaches and loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who knew him, and all those who were inspired by him.”

The five-foot-eight player, known for his speed, was a two-time All Gulf South Conference selection at West Alabama, where he led the team with 1,223 all-purpose yards during his senior season in 2019.

“Christian’s contributions to our football team both on the field and in our locker room were significant during his one season with the Green and Gold,” the Elks said. “His positivity and energy for life will be dearly missed.”

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