SAU mourns tragic loss of student

By Nikki Henderson |

Published 08/25 2014 09:38AM

Updated 08/25 2014 09:49AM

Southern Arkansas University is saddened by the loss of a student and former student from a tragic event over the weekend.

Brandon Hobdy, 23, a senior wide receiver on the Mulerider football team, was killed shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday in a shooting in Columbia County.

Wayne Payton, 24, a former SAU student, also died in the shooting.

Hobdy and Payton were standing outside the local VFW when a group of people began firing into a crowd. 

Investigators say the suspects had been removed from the building due to a disturbance.

Hobdy and Payton were transported to Magnolia Regional Hospital where they were later died from their injuries.

Sunday night the Mulerider Football held a candlelight vigil at Wilkins Stadium to honor Hobdy. 

SAU President Dr. David Rankin said, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hobdy and Payton families. A tragedy for one of our families is a tragedy for all of us. All of the resources in the region are directed toward bringing the perpetrators of this event to justice."

Counseling was immediately made available by SAU staff, and will continue to be provided.  The SAU Office of Counseling and Testing can be reached at (870) 235-4145.

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