JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Family members confirmed to News4Jax that former NFL player Louis Nix III has died.
The former Raines High School football standout who went on to play at Notre Dame, spend two years with the Houston Texans and briefly sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was reported missing to police on Wednesday. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office sent out a tweet at 8 p.m. Saturday, saying they located Nix without saying where or how he was found.
JSO’s dive team pulled a silver Hyundai matching the 29-year-old car’s description and tag number out of a pond on Broxton Bay Drive, just south of River City Marketplace.
Nix’s brother told News4Jax later Saturday night that Nix is “gone.”
Nix, 29, was injured in a shooting in December about a half-mile from where what is believed to be where his car was pulled from the water on Saturday night.
His mother and brother told News4Jax earlier Saturday that the last time they were in touch with him was on Tuesday. Nix was supposed to meet his brother at his dad’s house, but he ended up leaving before his brother arrived and didn’t say where he was going.
“We kind of missed each other because once he got there, I had left to get something to eat, and I was on the way back, but he had already left by then,” he said.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, patrol officers were called to 42nd Street West on Wednesday because of a missing adult and efforts to locate Nix since were unsuccessful.
Ketarah Reed, Nix’s girlfriend, said she lived with Nix before he died. She said after Nix said he was on his way back home on Tuesday night after hanging out with a friend, she never heard from him again.
“The intentions were he was coming back here so we could just hang out, but he just never made it here,” Reed said. “I texted and I was, like, ‘Are you good,’ and he never texted me back, so I start calling and then his phone was ringing, and it just completely went out.”
Reed said earlier that day, she had a great conversation with Nix and they were both sharing how much they loved and cared for each other.
Reed said he was not acting out of the ordinary that day. But she did say when he had went missing, that was unlike him, he always stays in contact.
“I’m with him every single day,” Reed said. “I’ve been with him since 2017. I know how he is.”
Nix’s brother said the same thing when News4Jax spoke with him earlier Saturday.
“We may not hear from him every day, but we hear from him at least every other day, or at some point, he’ll pull up,” he said.
Nix, a longtime football star in Jacksonville, was most recently in the news when he was shot while filling his tires at a Jacksonville gas station. He told News4Jax days after the harrowing encounter that he was “getting through it” and hoped it wouldn’t happen to anyone else.
Reed said she was still processing the fact that Nix was shot at the gas station minutes away from the pond where his car was found Saturday in December.
“He just got shot by some random people in December,” Reed said. “We still are recovering from that, and then this happens.”
After graduating from Raines, Nix attended Notre Dame. His mother said people in Indiana near Notre Dame are concerned and trying to look as well. Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly also released a statement on Twitter today asking for the community up there to work to look for him.
Nix, calling himself “Irish Chocolate,” was selected by the Houston Texans in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He underwent knee surgery before he could play any game and was released two years later. He was briefly with the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars practice squads before the Jaguars signed him to a reserve/future contract in January 2017, but released him four months later.
Nix recorded a video of himself as he was pulled into an ambulance after he was shot at the Gate gas station off Airport Center Drive in December.
“At the time, I would say, I felt close to death,” he told News4Jax days after the shooting. “I was shot in my chest and the bullet ricocheted to my sternum and to my lung and I’m currently dealing with a bullet in my lung right now.”
Nix said that while pumping air, two men walked up to him, flashing a light in his eye. He pushed back, then felt a shot in his chest.
The Sheriff’s Office said they’re still searching for two suspects in the case -- two men that Nix said he didn’t know.
“I think it was just something random,” Nix said. “I feel like it could have been anybody.”