Former Bama player killed

Published 9:12 pm Thursday, August 21, 2014

Former University of Alabama defensive lineman Ozell Powell was shot and killed Wednesday night at Creekstone Apartments in Greenville.

According to authorities, Powell, 40, had two gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen area. He was transported to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“After we arrived on the scene we were able to process the scene, locate witnesses and conduct a number of interviews,” Greenville Police Department Lt. Justin Lovvorn said. “We developed a suspect and were able to take him into custody early (Thursday) morning.”

Eric Simmons, 22, of Greenville, was arrested at approximately 1 a.m. Thursday and charged with murder. He’s being held in the Butler County Correctional Facility.

Authorities declined to name a cause for the shooting, as the investigation is still ongoing.

“We’re seeking other persons of interest in the case that may have had possible involvement, but we were able to obtain enough evidence to make an arrest,” Lovvorn said.

Powell was a standout football player at Greenville High School earning all-state honors as a senior.

He went on to play for Alabama from 1993 to 1996.

As a member of the Tide, Powell started 25 games and was credited with 67 tackles, including three for a loss and four sacks. As a senior, he intercepted a pass in the SEC championship game against Florida and returned it 22 yards.

Following college, Powell spent two seasons on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad before signing as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons in 2000. He was drafted in 2001 by the XFL’s Birmingham Bolts.

-Andy Brown