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Three teens charged with murder of Southern Miss football player MJ Daniels

Orlando May
Orlando May (Photo courtesy of the Forrest County Sheriff's Office)

Three teens have been arrested and face capital murder charges in connection with the slaying of Southern Miss football player MJ Daniels.

Hattiesburg Police Department Detective Kelly Gardner says that the trio of suspects, aged 16, 17, and 18, were taken into custody and booked into the Forrest County Jail Friday morning. They are accused of shooting and killing the standout Golden Eagle defensive back on Tuesday night.

Daniels, 21, was declared deceased on Wednesday morning (Photo courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics)

18-year-old Orlando May of Hattiesburg was arrested and charged with one count of capital murder, one count of attempted armed carjacking, one count of felony eluding, and two counts of grand larceny auto.

17-year-old Allen Marcus Gardner of Houston, Texas was arrested and charged as an adult with one count of capital murder and one count of attempted armed carjacking.

16-year-old Samir Green of Hattiesburg was arrested and charged as an adult with one count of capital murder and one count of attempted armed carjacking.

HPD reported Wednesday morning that Daniels was found unresponsive in his vehicle. The Hattiesburg Police Crime Scene Unit confirmed that Daniels had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Daniels, 21, joined the Southern Miss football team in 2023 after playing two years at Ole Miss. The George County product was expected to be a key piece for the Golden Eagles once again in 2024 for his senior season.

Southern Miss officials issued the following statement following Daniels’ death.

“The University of Southern Mississippi and the Department of Athletics mourn the loss of M.J. Daniels whose life was lost Tuesday evening during an incident that occurred off campus. We send our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time.

Daniels, from Lucedale, Mississippi, was a member of the Golden Eagle football team. He played his first season with the Golden Eagles last fall, after transferring from The University of Mississippi. In his lone season with the Golden Eagles, he registered 29 tackles in 12 games played and tied for the team lead in interceptions with three.  

The University of Southern Mississippi Student Counseling Services has been made available to members of the Golden Eagle football program and individuals close to the university. Out of respect for the family and all impacted in this matter, the University and Athletic Department will have no further comment at this time.”

Police are continuing to investigate this case. Anyone with information surrounding Daniels’ murder can contact the Hattiesburg Police Department.

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