Savannah mourns loss of Mercer basketball player

Savannah mourns loss of Mercer basketball player

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A college student gunned down at gas station Tuesday night is sending shock waves through the local sports community, and is making national headlines.

People are grieving from Macon all the way to Savannah, mourning the loss of Jibri Bryan.

The Savannah-native and Mercer University basketball player was shot and killed in front of a Macon convenience store Wednesday night.

His shooter is still at-large but his accomplice has been arrested and charged with murder early Wednesday.

WTOC spoke to neighbors, his coach, all of whom said Jibri was going places. He was not only a great basketball player, but he was also very smart. In fact, he was already working on his master's degree at Mercer.

"In my heart, we've been cheated," said Benedictines head basketball coach Doug Willett.

Willett coached Bryan when he was a student at Benedictine Military Academy.

"He worked hard in the classroom. He worked hard in the weight room. He worked hard on his game," said Willett.

Everyone in Savannah was well aware of Jibri's accomplishments. In fact, WTOC followed him through his high school career and even after he moved to Macon to play for the Mercer Bears. He came back in 2014 to share his story and be an inspiration to other students with this message.

"Pretty much just to stay focused.  I mean, no matter what, just stay focused and continue to know that hard work pays off," said Bryan said in 2014.

The future seemed bright for the 23-year-old basketball player who was already working on his master's degree at Mercer, but it all ended so suddenly when he was gunned down in front of a Flash Foods in Macon.

"I'm at a loss of words. How could something like that happen to a nice individual, you know, what's the world coming to," said Ron Rudolph, neighbor.

Jibri's mother still lives in Savannah, next door to the Rudolph family who watched him grow up.

Many folks are already offering their condolences to the Bryan family, including a sticky note that was left on their front door.

"That shouldn't happen to any family and I feel very upset for them. They are a nice family," said Rudolph.

Students at Mercer are planning to have a vigil Wednesday night at 9 p.m. on the Mercer campus.

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