Who shot Emmit King? Retired Olympian runner, 62, dies in deadly gun duel

'This is terrible. Emmit King was a great runner, part of the amazing Alabama team,' reporter Jane Burns wrote on Twitter

                            Who shot Emmit King? Retired Olympian runner, 62, dies in deadly gun duel
Emmit King (L) was a part of the Olympic Relay Team (R) in 1984 alongside Carl Lewis, Willie Gault and Calvin Smith (Twitter)

A tragic and shocking incident has claimed the lives of retired Olympian Emmit King and his friend after the duo shot each other during a heated argument. The 62-year-old sprinter, who was a part of the American Olympics Relay Team alongside Carl Lewis, died near Bessemer, Alabama on Sunday, November 28. The deadly shots were exchanged between King and his friend around 3.40 pm that day and King was pronounced dead at the UAB Medical West hospital at 4.40 pm. 

King's friend Willie Albert Wells, 60, happened to be the one to fatally shoot him while taking a bullet himself as well. Wells and King were arguing over an issue and started brandishing their guns midway through the altercation. Before long, the two friends shot at each other and Wells died on the spot around 3.59 pm.


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Emmit King was a champion sprinter from Alabama, who graduated from Hueytown High School before joining Jefferson State Community College. He then transferred to the University of Alabama where he gained success as an athlete. In 1983, King became the NCAA National Champion in the 100-meter race, followed by the bronze medal at the World Championships. 

He then participated in the Summer Olympics 1984 and 1988 as a member of the US relay team. He has been pictured alongside legendary athletes like Carl Lewis, Willie Gault, and Calvin Smith. 

Not many details have emerged around the fatal conflict between King and Wells or why it escalated to such an extreme level. However, it is being reported that the local police are questioning a female suspect. The rise in crimes and shootings in the Bessemer area has been alarming in the recent past, with King and Wells' deaths marking 27 homicides this year.

King's tragic death was mourned by the athletics fraternity and his close acquaintances. MSN reported Jane Burns tweeted, "This is terrible. Emmit King was a great runner, part of the amazing Alabama teams that came to the @DrakeRelays in the 1980s."

"Former Alabama track star, Olympian killed in shootout. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office on Mon. identified Emmit King & Willie Albert Wells as the two men who died after exchanging gunfire in Bessemer on Sun. King, 62, was a sprinter & a member of the U.S. relay team," a fan mourned on Twitter.

Another user wrote, "Very sad news this morning. Former Alabama great sprinter and NCAA 100 meter National Champion, Emmit King was shot and killed yesterday in Bessemer, Al. RIP Emmit."

Alabama journalist Jeremy Gray tweeted a photo of Emmit King running with Carl Lewis in 1984, writing, "Former Olympian, #Alabama track star Emmit King killed in Bessemer shootout. Here he is running to the right of Carl Lewis in 1984."





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