Auburn coach offers dire update on running back’s condition following shooting, asks for prayers

Auburn Tigers football coach Hugh Freeze asked social media for prayers for running back Brian Battie, who was shot and wounded in a deadly incident in Florida over the weekend.

The shooting in Sarasota left his brother, Tony Battie IV, dead and several others wounded.

Brian Battie stiff arms opponent

Tigers running back Brian Battie gets past a Massachusetts Minutemen defender at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, on Sept.. 2, 2023. (John Reed-USA Today Sports)

“Auburn family. Please continue to pray for Brian Battie. There was a set back last night and he’s still on a ventilator,” Freeze wrote on X.

Battie was in critical condition after the shooting in Sarasota, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Saturday.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said it was investigating the deadly incident. Officials said deputies responded to reports of a shooting at around 3:30 a.m. ET.

Hugh Freeze walks the sidelines

Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze during the A-Day spring game at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, on April 6, 2024. (Jake Crandall/Advertiser/USA Today Network)


The responding deputies “observed a large crowd with multiple shooting victims in the parking lot,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. Four additional victims were transported to hospitals in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

Officials said the shooting appeared to be an isolated incident. It wasn’t revealed what sparked the violence.

Brian Battie started his collegiate career at South Florida in 2020. He immediately worked his way up to becoming a starter by the 2022 season. He ran for 1,185 yards and eight touchdowns.

He was named an All-American in 2021 as a return specialist.

Brian Battie vs UMass

Brian Battie of the Tigers looks to escape a tackle by linebacker Gerrell Johnson of the Massachusetts Minutemen at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sept. 2, 2023, in Auburn. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

He transferred to Auburn after the 2022 season. With the Tigers, he ran for 227 yards and a touchdown.

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