UPDATE: S. Miss walk-on punter critically wounded

HATTIESBURG — Peter Wilkes, a walk-on punter at Southern Miss, is in critical condition at a Memphis, Tenn., hospital after being shot at his home in Union City, Tenn.

Regional Medical Center officials said Friday that Wilkes was being treated in a critical care unit.

Union City Assistant Police Chief Perry Barfield said the case is under investigation as an accident or self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Southern Miss officials retracted an initial news release that said Wilkes was shot Thursday night in an accident and had died Friday morning. Southern Miss spokesman Jack Duggan said in a statement Friday afternoon that Wilkes suffered an “irrecoverable injury” Thursday night.

Wilkes was not a member of the Golden Eagles’ travel party to Louisville for Saturday’s game and was at home during the school’s fall break. He made an early push to win the job at punter during preseason practice, but has not played this season.

Coach Larry Fedora said coaches and players are “shocked and devastated.”

The Associated Press