Florida Shooting Injures Footballer Brian Battie, Kills His Brother

A shooting in Sarasota, Florida, early Saturday morning left Brian Battie, an Auburn running back, in serious condition. The incident wounded three others and killed Tommie Battie, Battie’s brother, who was 24 years old.

When deputies arrived at the Tallywood Centre Plaza at 3:30 in the morning, they found a multitude of victims with gunshot wounds in the parking lot. Tommie L. Battie IV was one of the victims who was declared dead on the spot. Four more casualties were sent to nearby hospitals in the counties of Manatee and Sarasota.

Auburn has issued no formal comment beyond stating that it is aware of the situation and is continuing to collect information.

Originally from South Florida, Battie was a two-sport standout at Auburn last season, leading the Tigers in kick returns and rushing for 227 yards.

The Tigers’ depth at running back was bolstered by 22-year-old Brian Battie, who spent the whole 2023 season as their primary kick returner. With an average of 23 yards per touch on kick returns, Battie was the fifth-best in the SEC. He managed to return kicks an average of a minor under 50 yards per game. In addition to his 227 receiving yards, he scored a touchdown in the team’s win against Arkansas on November 11.

He played at South Florida for three years before joining Auburn. After scoring three touchdowns and carrying for 650 yards in the 2021 season, he was unanimously selected as an All-American. For USF, he was the go-to kick returner. After running for 1,186 yards and eight scores in 2022, he was chosen to the All-AAC second team.

Tommie was a star athlete at Braden River High School, and Brian was a star at Sarasota.

The Battie family established a GoFundMe page on Sunday with the goal of reaching $100,000. By Monday at 3 p.m. ET, 561 individual contributions had contributed over $63,000 to the campaign. A message asks for prayers for Brian to make a full recovery so he can return home with his loving family. The fundraiser page’s short description says that Tommie and Brian’s godmothers established it.