Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart has identified Flynn Brown, 22, of New Jersey as the victim in the shooting death at Jackson State University discovered Friday morning on the JSU campus, and MBI has identified Randall Smith, 20, as the suspect in the shooting.
"Smith has been arrested in connection to the JSU homicide that occurred yesterday," Bailey Martin of MBI confirmed Saturday.
Grisham Stewart confirmed that Brown, a male student at JSU, died of a gunshot wound according to her preliminary investigation but said the body has been sent to the state crime lab for a full autopsy.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the death of a JSU student," said JSU University President Thomas Hudson in a press statement Friday afternoon. "The loss of a young person is always a devastating circumstance for our campus community. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time. As president, I assure you that the safety of our students and campus community is our highest priority. While we do not have all of the details at this time, a person of interest is in custody."
JSU officials confirmed that Brown was not a JSU football player.
However, Brown had been a two-year starter at running back and cornerback at Mount Olive High School. He had 227 yards and two touchdowns – one of the best performances in school history – in the Marauders’ first-round playoff loss in 2018, his senior season. He is also tied for the school record with four touchdowns against Chatham in the season opener on Sept. 7, 2018.
Brown graduated from Mount Olive in 2019, and went on play football at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He arrived at Jackson State in the spring of 2022. He had been practicing with the football team and had earned a roster spot for next season, according to Mount Olive assistant football coach Sirajj Ziyad.
“He’s a very talented athlete, a quiet kid, hard worker,” Mount Olive High School football coach Brian O’Connor said. “It seemed like he had things going in the right direction, and was trying to get his degree.”
Earlier Friday, officials from the Hinds County Coroner's office, Hinds County Sheriff's Office, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Jackson State Campus Police were working the scene where the body was found.
Capitol police blocked off the proximity of the crime scene until further investigation.
Reporters and bystanders were kept at a distance but workers could be seen on site wheeling a gurney with what appeared to be a covered body on to a coroner's vehicle. A man also was seen carrying a white sheet that appeared to have blood on it.
The MBI released a statement Friday afternoon saying they are working with the JSU campus police to further investigate the incident.
"The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Jackson State University police are working together to investigate the recent homicide at JSU campus. At this time, there is no further threat to those on campus. MBI is currently assessing this critical incident and gathering evidence. Upon completing their investigation, agents will share their findings with the local District Attorney's Office. This an open and ongoing investigation; no further comment will be made by MBI at this time."
Friday's death is the second JSU death in recent weeks. The death of Geronimo Warner was announced on Nov. 9. Warner, 21, a member of JSU basketball from 2019-22 and a member of the SWAC regular season title-winning team in 2021. No cause of death was reported.
Sportswriter Jane Havsy, of the Daily Record in Rockaway, New Jersey, contributed to this report.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details are available.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Jackson State University, law enforcement officials working scene