Shooting death of Utah’s Ty Jordan shows that in year of abject horror, unforeseen tragedy can still break our hearts
A couple of weeks ago, Ty Jordan was breaking out. A 5-7, 200-pound running back, Jordan emerged as a force for Utah, and was named the Pac-12’s Newcomer of the Year.
You could tell watching him run that despite his small stature, he had power to go with his speed, and you could tell by watching him talking about living out his dream that he was worth rooting for. He spoke of wanting to make his mom proud, and he had dedicated this season to his mother, Tiffany, who died of lung cancer this summer.
And now Jordan is dead at the age of 19, from a gunshot wound that police in Denton, Texas, believe was accidentally self-inflicted.
In a year full of tragedy, Jordan’s death is a brutal reminder of the damage still done by guns, and it’s particularly painful that in a normal year, Jordan likely would not have been back in Texas, but would have been preparing with the Utes for a bowl game. Utah went 3-2 this season, powered by Jordan’s star turn down the stretch to finish with that winning record, but opted not to participate in bowl season.
“Words cannot express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling right now upon learning of the tragic death of our teammate and brother, Ty Jordan,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us. He leaves an indelible mark on each of us and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. From the bottom or our hearts, all of us in the Utah Football Family want to say we love you Ty and may you rest in peace.”
A GoFundMe to help pay for the memorial for Tiffany Jordan is ongoing. The devastation of the Jordan family suffering another loss in such a short time is unbearable to imagine.