Special Reports

College Football Player Shoots High School Girlfriend In Her Sleep


Maryville College football player William Riley Gaul has been arrested for killing his girlfriend who was still in high school. He is facing a charge of first-degree murder.

Gaul is a freshman wide receiver at the institution, which is based in Tennessee. He is charged of killing his 16-year-old girlfriend Emma Walker, who is a high school cheerleader, CBS News reported.

On Wednesday, Knox County Sheriff's Office officials revealed that Gaul was arrested after Walker was found dead inside her house. The high school cheerleader died because of a gunshot wound.

Officials added that evidence at the scene pointed to Gaul. Apparently, he fired shots from outside the house into her bedroom as Walker slept.

Both Walker and Gaul went to Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gaul is currently studying at Maryville College.

According to local source The Knoxville News Sentinel, Walker's aunt, Jenny Weldon, revealed that her niece had ended the relationship with Gaul. However, it seems like the football player did not want to accept that it's over.

"She had chosen to move on," Weldon said. "He refused to accept it. He chose not to accept her wishes."

Walker was described by her aunt as a "beautiful soul" who wanted to graduate high school. She would have studied to become a neonatal nurse had she been able to continue her life.

"Our student was a wonderful young lady, a cheerleader and honor student with a promising future, whose life was cut too short, too soon," Central High School Principal Michael Reynolds said in a statement.

Maryville athletic department spokesman Chris Cannon has also confirmed that the college is cooperating fully with the Knox County Sheriff's Department with the investigation. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family and friends and other individuals affected by this tragedy," he said.

Gaul has been removed from the football program. He was being held at the Knox County Jail on a $750,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 2.

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