Louis Nix III: the tragic end of a young NFL veteran

Louis Nix found lifeless, age 29
Notre Dame and NFL
Irish Chocolate
A beloved player
Injuries
A tragic end to his life
First, a shot in the chest
Financial issues
Afraid to leave the house
Paranoid on the street
Reported missing
Looking for Louis Nix
Found in a pond: an accident?
'No connection between the shooting and his death'
Uncertainty about the last moments of his life
Mourning for Louis Nix
Louis Nix found lifeless, age 29

Louis Nix III, NFL and former University of Notre Dame player, has passed away at the age of 29. He disappeared in the past week and was found in a pond near his home in Jacksonville, Florida. According to his mother (on the local TV channel), the athlete's death was an accident. Many questions remain about his last moments, though.

Notre Dame and NFL

Louis Nix or 'Big Lou' was a defensive tackle for the University of Notre Dame football team. After graduating from the college in 2014, he was drafted in the NFL and played for the Houston Texans, New York Giants, Washington Redskins and the Jacksonville Jaguars until 2017.

Irish Chocolate

The college football team of the traditionally catholic University of Notre Dame was also called 'the Fighting Irish.' Soon after he started playing with them in 2010, Louis Nix would be nicknamed 'Irish Chocolate.'

A beloved player

Louis Nix rarely made enemies and had a great army of fans at his university and beyond. He expressed his creativity while completing a Film and TV major at the University of Notre Dame.

(Image: Twitter, 1irishchocolate)

Injuries

Over the course of his career in the NFL, Nix was often hindered by injuries. For this reason he was released by his last team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, at the age of 26.

A tragic end to his life

In the last months of his life, a couple of tragic events happened to the retired athlete. One of them resulted in his death.

First, a shot in the chest

In December 2020, Nix was putting air in his car tire in a local gas station when robbers attacked and shot him. He took a bullet in the chest and had to be treated in the hospital for eleven days.

(Image: Twitter, 1irishchocolate)

"I'm alive"

Nix tweeted a message to his followers: "I'm alive everyone. The bullet that hit me ricocheted off my sternum into my lung." He appeared optimistic, although doctors advised him that the bullet could not be safely removed and would have to stay in his body.

Financial issues

The athlete's friends immediately started a fundraiser to cover his medical expenses and the salary he would miss while recovering from the shooting. Nix had been working for the uniform and office supplier Cintas Corporation.

Afraid to leave the house

The incident deeply affected Nix, as IndyStar reported. "The aftershocks of being ambushed... still haunt him." The athlete was reportedly seeing a therapist, and IndyStar quoted him saying: "Hopefully, they’ll help me ... learn how to deal with it, because at this point, I really don’t want to leave the house again."

Paranoid on the street

"I went out shopping with my girl to get my mom a birthday gift, and it was crazy," he told IndyStar. "You wouldn’t think you'd feel like that, but I was just paranoid being around people. People coming up from behind me, coming out of nowhere. I felt like I just needed to see everything and it was kind of emotional in the moment."

Reported missing

On February 24, 2021, Louis Nix's mother reported him missing. She had tried to reach him and failed to get a response.

Looking for Louis Nix

"I want nobody to be in my shoes," she told the local CBS station. "I'm not saying something has happened to my son, prayerfully, I hope it has not, but just not knowing, you know, your kids is your kids."

Found in a pond: an accident?

A few days later, the police found Nix's car and his lifeless body in the water. Although they have not made any statements about the cause of death, Nix's mother suggests they found traces of an accident. The road had a narrow curve and some slight tire tracks were visible. "Something may have distracted him, he lost control and went into the pond," she told Jacksonville TV reporter Ben Becker.

'No connection between the shooting and his death'

Police have not established any connection between the two tragic incidents in the last months of Louis Nix III's life. Nix's mother told Ben Becker that the police had found "no indication of foul play" and that they didn't seem to think his pain medication (for his shot wounds) had anything to do with the accident.

(Image: Twitter, 1irishchocolate)

Uncertainty about the last moments of his life

Nix's mother says the police believed "he may have been distracted by his phone." However, reporter Ben Becker also read in the missing persons' report that Nix's girlfriend thought " he was driving with another man" during their last phone call. Moreover, she "suspected Nix was intoxicated due to the sound of his voice and choice of affectionate words." What really happened in his last moments is still unclear.

Mourning for Louis Nix

While fans, former team mates, and the University of Notre Dame mourn the loss of one of their favorite athletes, his relatives are still trying to wrap their heads around what happened. "There’s not much stuff that can hurt me, but I don’t even know how to describe that," his brother Antonio told News4Jax.

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