Baltimore police on Thursday identified former Maryland football player David Mackall Jr. as the victim of a fatal shooting in Walbrook, a neighborhood in the city’s Western District where Mackall grew up.
Mackall, 28, was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon. The Edmondson graduate played football at the University of Maryland from 2010 to 2011 before finishing his career at the University of Delaware from 2012 to 2013.
The department wrote on Facebook that officers were called to a report of a shooting in the 1900 block of Braddish Ave. at 2:46 p.m.
Responders found Mackall suffering from gunshot wounds to the head and torso.
Mackall was taken to an area hospital, where he later died. Police did not name a suspect or anyone arrested in his death.
Former Edmondson football coach Dante Jones said he was devastated when he heard the news from Mackall’s mother Wednesday. Jones, who said he was acting as a family spokesman, said Mackall “was just working and taking care of his two sons,” ages 6 and almost 2.
“I talked to his mom yesterday. It’s tough,” Jones said. “He was just a good kid. When I went up to Delaware to coach [high school football in 2012], he would come and talk to the players. We’ve got to do better in the city. At some point, we’ve got to realize that death is it. You’re ending somebody’s life, and you’re ruining a whole lot of other people’s lives. For what? Nine times out of 10, it’s for really nothing.”
Jones, who was head coach at Edmondson from 2004 to 2012, said Mackall was “a special young man,” and recalled how they first met when Mackall was still attending Woodlawn High as a sophomore.
“David recruited me,” Jones said. “I met David at Sam’s Club. I was standing in line and he always was a big kid, and he was staring at me. I’m thinking it’s a grown man.
“He walked over and he said, ‘Are you coach ’Te?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I want to play for you.’ I said, ‘Play for me? What grade are you in?’ I was thinking he was in college.”
That chance meeting led to Mackall transferring to Edmondson. He helped the Red Storm win their first state title in 2006 and developed into a four-star recruit.
“He was just an awesome young man — fearless, one of them players that played the game the right way, with passion, with aggression,” said Jones, who is now coaching at a high school in Delaware. “So smart, just so talented. He had a big heart. Just a fun-loving kid.”
Mackall spent a semester at Fork Union Military Academy before enrolling at Maryland, where he played for two seasons before transferring to Delaware. He was one of more than a dozen players to leave College Park in the aftermath of Ralph Friedgen’s firing in 2010.
Friedgen, who learned of the fatal shooting of Mackall on Wednesday night in a text from another former Terps football player, said he went to church Thursday morning to pray for Mackall and his family.
“He was a kid who had a lot of potential. He was a good football player for us,” Friedgen said. “Wasn’t any problems for me. He was a good kid. He was one of my kids. I feel bad for him. It’s terrible what goes on [in Baltimore].”
He played mostly as a backup to three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker Alex Wujciak during the 2010 season — Friedgen’s last at Maryland. Mackall wound up playing eight games, starting the first seven, under first-year coach Randy Edsall in 2011.
With four games left in the season, he was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules and transferred to Delaware along with two other former Terps — cornerback Travis Hawkins and defensive tackle lineman Zach Kerr. Kerr is now with the Denver Broncos.
After missing his junior year with an injury, Mackall had a solid senior year for the Blue Hens. He then tried out for the Ravens, but was not offered a contract.
In a statement released Thursday, the Maryland football team offered its condolences.
“The Maryland Football family is deeply saddened to learn of the death of David Mackall Jr. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and former Terp teammates during this tragic time,” the statement read.
Troy Jones, Mackall’s former teammate at Maryland, said his fellow Baltimorean took him under his wing shortly after he arrived in College Park as a walk-on quarterback out of St. Paul’s School. They were distant relatives and and their friendship grew close after Jones came to Maryland.
“When I came in, I had known Mack for a while and he was just that guy that [made sure] nobody would mess with me,” Jones recalled Thursday. “He always was there for me.
“He was the same person always. Even last year when we were talking about my wedding and me getting married and we were talking about old times and what we wanted to do in the future and how we wanted to do things, he was always a positive guy.”
Jones said he now wants to be there for Mackall’s boys. Jones already expressed that to Mackall’s longtime girlfriend, the mother of Mackall’s two sons.
“I really want to make sure I’m around for his sons knowing what he wanted for them,” said Jones. “He wanted them to be involved in sports and just be better than he was.”