Former Florida Gators football player Chris “Juice” Johnson died Friday night near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the age of 22.
The Ocala Star-Banner was able to confirm Johnson’s death after speaking with Duquesne associate athletic director David Saba and Trinity Catholic High School athletic director Tommy Bond late Saturday night.
On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Johnson’s death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. An Allegheny County medical examiner determined that Johnson committed suicide in his car.
Johnson, a three-star safety who also played linebacker and running back but primarily made his mark as a special teams standout for the Gators during two seasons from 2011-12, appeared in all 26 games for which he was eligible.
He transferred from the program in Jan. 2013 and wound up at Duquesne, where he totaled 104 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles from 2013-14.
“Everyone associated with the Duquesne football program is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Chris,” said Duquesne football coach Jerry Schmitt in a statement obtained by the Post-Gazette. “Chris was a passionate football player who was also a great teammate, who was loved by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’ family at this difficult time.”
While in high school, Johnson helped lead Trinity Catholic to a Florida state title in 2010.
OnlyGators.com sends our condolences to Johnson’s family and friends.
No matter what problems you are dealing with, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1-800-273-8255 and you will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area.
— Dominique Easley (@DominiqueEasley) March 1, 2015