Zurlon Tipton, affectionately known as Big Z to Central Michigan football fans, has passed away from an accidental gunshot wound in Roseville, MI. Tipton was 26.
According to an account given by CBS 4 Indianapolis, Tipton went to move a duffel bag he was holding in the back of his vehicle when a gun accidentally discharged, hitting him in the stomach. Tipton went to the hospital in "good condition," but later died.
No other injuries were reported at the dealership. Tipton had a concealed pistol license, and both guns involved were registered.
Tipton was an instrumental part of the Chippewa football program from 2010-2013, starting at running back in 2012. That 2012 season was his best collegiate season, as Tipton rushed for 1,492 yards on 252 carries for 19 touchdowns. Tipton scored 35 total touchdowns over his career.
Tipton was an undrafted free agent signee to the Indianapolis Colts in 2014, where he made the active roster in his rookie year. Primarily used as a third-down passing back, Tipton totaled 163 yards in sixteen games over two seasons. Tipton actually performed better in playoff games, gaining 88 yards, eight first downs, and his only professional touchdown in three games.
Tipton was openly candid about his disappointing 2013 campaign at CMU in past interviews, even mulling retirement at one point.
Tipton had experienced many ups-and-downs in the past year and a half.
After his best statistical year as a professional, Tipton was waived by the Colts on December 21, 2015.
Four days later, on Christmas Day, Tipton was arrested by Indiana police for reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon after after firing a round from his AR-15 in his girfriend's driveway. No charges were filed.
Tipton was unable to latch onto a professional team this offseason and was living back home in Detroit at the time of the incident.
Tipton is the second footballer attached to CMU to pass away in an offseason; defensive back Derrick Nash passed away June 22 last year from complications due to lymphoma.