BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A new member of the UAB Blazers football team died Friday after being shot in his hometown of Gadsden.

Allen Merrick, a 19-year-old freshman at UAB, died Friday morning at UAB Hospital after being shot in Gadsden Thursday, according to Capt. Bobby Jackson of the Gadsden Police Department. Jackson said the shooting appears to be accidental.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” Jackson said in an email to CBS 42.

In a statement released by UAB head football coach Bill Clark, Merrick was visiting family in Gadsden when he was shot.

“He is at UAB Hospital where I’ve been with Allen’s family, but I do not have a condition I can share at this time,” Clark said. “I ask that everyone please respect his family’s privacy and keep them all in your prayers.”

Merrick, a graduate of Gadsden City High School who was sought after many schools due to his prowess as a linebacker, committed to UAB last summer after receiving offers from Nebraska, Purdue, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri and Central Florida, according to The Gadsden Times.

During his time in Gadsden City, Merrick was named Gadsden City’s Defensive Player of the Year and played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.

No details have been released on the circumstances surrounding the shooting.