A standout football player at a Tampa, Fla., high school faces a charge of third-degree murder involving possession of a firearm.
Dontae Lamar Hopkins, a 17-year-old senior at Tampa’s Hillsborough High School, was arrested late last week at his home by Tampa police.
As the Tampa Bay Times reports, he was booked into the Hillsborough County jail. Hopkins was released from county jail Dec. 7 on a $100,000 surety bond, jail records obtained by the Times show. The arrest was in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Nicholas Mortazavi at a South Tampa McDonald’s on July 20, the result of a drug deal gone bad, according to police.
Police also arrested Marquez Davon Roberts, 19, after he turned himself in on charges of first degree felony murder, carrying a concealed firearm and uttering a counterfeit instrument, according to jail records obtained by the Times.
In a statement released this week, Tampa Police spokesman Steve Hegarty said investigators believe Roberts and Hopkins planned to purchase marijuana from Mortazavi the night he was killed.
Just hours before his arrest, per the Times, Hopkins posted a somber message on Twitter: “Parpared (sic) for the worst , But Still Praying For The Best…”
Hopkins was a running back and safety for the Hillsborough football team. According to MaxPreps, He ran for more than 1,000 yards in his high school career, accounting for 651 total yards and six TDs this year.
In September, Hopkins talked to the Times about his bond with Hillsborough head football coach Earl Garcia, who was supportive of him when he was shot and wounded in 2017.
As Hopkins told the Times, he said that late one night last December he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and was shot in the lower body. When he awoke in a hospital bed, Hopkins said he saw Garcia at his bedside.
“I told him I loved him,” Garcia told the Times. “Then I asked him, ‘What the hell were you doing there?’”
You can read more of the Tampa Bay Times’ story on the incident that led to Hopkins’ arrest here.