DeSoto County, Mississippi — Families in DeSoto County mourn the loss of a professional football player who was shot dead over the weekend in Walls, Mississippi.
At the gridiron, Christian Salisbury shone. This is where his mother, Melissa Smith, saw the sparkle in his eyes when he was a little boy.
“If you really want to play pro football, I said Christian. I said you have to do it the right way and you have to listen to me.” .
These mother and son photos depict the relationship between their “mom” and the athlete.
From a standout player in high school at South Haven High School and Northpoint Christian School, Southaurusbury skyrocketed to college in West Alabama.
His family made important sacrifices and cheered him on, even in the face of adversity during the pandemic.
His mother will never forget the moment he fulfilled his dream of turning pro by signing with the Edmonton Elks of Canada earlier this year.
“He put a shirt over his head and said no and just started crying. He knew he had made it,” Smith said. “I never dreamed that my baby would leave me so soon.”
Sadly, his dream was snatched away just days after his 25th birthday. Salisbury was shot in the abdomen and leg on Saturday while attending a party in Walls, Mississippi, according to the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.
His mother said he was celebrating his best friend’s birthday when the suspect, 24-year-old Mark McDaniel, got into an altercation.
“The young man vomited on the back of his best friend’s mom’s couch and left,” Smith said. “There was an incident in the bathroom with this same man. The shower rod and shower curtain were torn.”
She said McDaniel was repeatedly told to leave but refused.
“He had a choice. We all have a choice. He sat there even after he was asked to leave,” Smith said.
His life and career were cut short just as he was making a name for himself. Smith said her new purpose is to keep his legacy alive.
“Christian, I love you. I am so proud of you and my son. I will never stop working for you. I have big plans for your name.” I have,” said Smith.
Kudos to his teammates and the pro team continued Monday night from the Mayor of Southursbury. Edmonton Elks Football His club released a video tribute to him in his honor Monday afternoon.
A memorial service for Salisbury will be held at Northpoint Christian School on Tuesday at 5:30 pm.