College freshman dies after she's shot in head while walking on track

ByEmily Shapiro ABCNews logo
Friday, November 10, 2023

An 18-year-old college freshman has died after she was struck in the head by a stray bullet while walking on a track in Nashville, authorities said.

Jillian Ludwig was hospitalized in "extremely critical condition" after being shot Tuesday afternoon, and died overnight, Nashville police announced Thursday morning.

Shaquille Taylor, 29, was initially arrested and charged with aggravated assault and evidence tampering for allegedly shooting, police said. In the wake of Ludwig's death, police said they are "in discussion with the District Attorney's Office concerning modified charges."

Taylor allegedly fired from across the street and was aiming at a car when a bullet struck Ludwig in the head as she walked on a track at Edgehill Community Memorial Gardens Park, police said.

Ludwig, a New Jersey native and an avid runner, was a music business major at Belmont University in Nashville, Belmont University President Greg Jones said.

She was "known for her love of music" and was "often found at concerts, cheering on fellow musicians and using music as a way to connect with those around her," Jones said in a statement.

"This is a lot for us all to process. We grapple now with grief, anger, anxiety and a strong sense of fear in the face of senseless violence," Jones said Thursday. "We will be deepening our ongoing conversations with Metro officials to improve safety measures in areas near Belmont, and our Campus Security team remains committed to the safety and security of our campus."

"We will be working with campus leaders and area pastors to organize additional resources to assist our community over the next few days and throughout the weekend," Jones said. "More on those plans, as well as a time to remember and celebrate Jillian's life, will be announced when available."

When Taylor was taken into custody, police said he admitted that he fired shots. Police said Taylor claimed he then gave the gun to someone else.

Police said Taylor was most recently arrested in September, charged with felony auto theft and released on a $20,000 bond. Taylor missed his Nov. 3 court appearance and the court issued a failure to appear warrant, according to Nashville police.

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