Southern Miss player paralyzed by shooting

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University of Southern Mississippi linebacker Martez Smith is paralyzed from the waist down after being shot outside a nightclub over the weekend along with two of his teammates, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the player’s medical status.

The players were celebrating their win over 25th-ranked Central Florida on Saturday night at a Hattiesburg nightclub. Smith, Tim Green and Deddrick Jones were shot in the parking lot early Sunday morning after the club closed.

Smith’s spinal cord was severed, the source said. Green was shot in the neck and Jones was shot in the chest. All three were listed in fair condition Tuesday at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.

Also Tuesday, police said they arrested two women wanted in connection with the shooting and were searching for a third man.

Patricia Loftin Brown, 49, and Cleothus Wilkerson 25, both from Bassfield, are charged with three counts each of accessory after the fact of aggravated assault. An arrest warrant for three counts of aggravated assault has been issued for Travis Brown of Prentiss.

Brown and Wilkerson were being held without bond in the local jail pending an initial court appearance. Police said they don’t know if they have lawyers.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.