Man Faces Murder Charges in Killing of Ex-Temple Football Star

A week after former Temple University football player Zaire Williams was gunned down, a man faces murder charges in the North Philadelphia killing

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What to Know

  • Former Temple University football star Zaire Williams was shot and killed in Philadelphia March 2.
  • Anthony Nieves, 22, was arrested Friday and later charged with murder.
  • Williams was a star high school football player in Sicklerville, New Jersey, and ranked third on Temple University’s all-time freshman rushing list.

A 22-year-old man is now accused of gunning down a former star Temple University football player near the North Philadelphia campus last week.

On Monday, Philadelphia police announced murder charges against Anthony Nieves in the shooting death of 25-year-old Zaire Williams.

Williams was on the 1800 block of West Montgomery Avenue around 4 a.m. on March 2 when he was shot in the head. He died a short time later at Temple University Hospital.

Nieves, who hails from nearby North 11th Street, was arrested and charged with murder, assault and weapons charges on Friday, police said.

Murder suspect Anthony Nieves

Nieves remained jailed without bail Monday. Online court records don't list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Williams was a star running back at Timber Creek High School in Sicklerville, New Jersey, where he was ranked as New Jersey’s 16th best football player.

He then played two years for the Temple University Owls. During his freshman year in 2013, he ranked third on Temple University’s all-time freshman rushing list with 533 yards. He was named to the 2013 American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team and was a 2013 honorable mention for the All-Freshman team.

Williams missed several games due to a back injury during his sophomore year. He then transferred to the University of Maine.

Williams’ teammate at Temple, current XFL player Phillip “PJ” Walker, tweeted about his death.

Philadelphia Eagles player and Glassboro, New Jersey, native Corey Clement also paid tribute to Williams in an Instagram story.

A photo from Corey Clement's Instagram stories.

"Zaire was a phenomenal player. Phenomenal person," Amin Muhammad, an assistant football coach for Timber Creek High School, told NBC10 during a candlelight vigil at the Timber Creek football field last week. "Very encouraging. One of those people that you could depend on in tough situations. Either way, he was always there for you."

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence. Further information can be found here.

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