Mike Locksley, whose brief tenure as the University of New Mexico’s head football coach ended in 2011, and his wife Kia held a joint press conference with the Howard County Police Department on Sept. 3 to announce renewed efforts in the pursuit of knowledge about the murder of Locksley’s son Meiko.
The day marked the three-year anniversary of Meiko Locksley’s murder. The 25-year-old was shot once in the chest on the 5500 block of Harpers Farm Road in Columbia, Md. He was later pronounced dead at the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center.
The police report released the day following Meiko Locksley’s death stated that “Multiple callers reported hearing a single gunshot in the neighborhood, and a resident located Locksley outside and called 911.”
A young mother, who refused to be identified at the time, shared this statement with WUSA-9 regarding the fatal shooting.
“My daughter and I just came home from a Labor Day barbecue. It was like 10:10 p.m. on Sunday night,” she recalled. “No one was around, and it was quiet. About ten minutes later, I heard one gunshot. I looked out my window through the blinds and saw him lying there bleeding, but I didn’t see anyone else.”
The police reward for information regarding the homicide has doubled from $10,000 to $20,000. According to earlier reporting by ESPN, the Locksley family has also raised approximately $40,000 in private donations to put toward information gathering efforts.
“Three years ago today, we received a knock on our door down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that would forever change our world,” Mike Locksley said. “We were left that night feeling numb and hurt.”
Mike Locksley remains the first and only Black head coach in the history of UNM’s football program. His time at UNM was fraught with controversy and criticism, but after leaving UNM he went on to serve successfully as the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama — where he earned the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach — and is currently the head football coach at the University of Maryland.
Meiko Locksley had played two years at the University during his father’s tenure as head coach, seeing the field for eight games. He then went on to play for Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania. Meiko Locksley was thought to be a rising star, but he also had his own personal battles. His father acknowledged in the press conference that his son dealt with mental health issues.
In the time leading up to his murder, Meiko Locksley was working at a Subway not far from where he was shot.
In the time since his death, local Maryland law enforcement have issued several search warrants. But these have resulted in no arrests and haven’t helped identify a motive.
Howard County Chief of Police Lisa Myers, who opened the press conference, said the case remains a priority for the agency but acknowledged the passage of time and the lack of results to show for it.
“I have remained committed to staying focused on this case, devoting every possible resource to find the person responsible to this unnecessary tragedy,” Myers said. “Our investigators have been gathering information, following up on many tips and leads, but it has not yet led to identification of a suspect.”
Myers then invited Cory Zirk, the commander of the criminal investigations bureau, to the podium.
“We have left no stone unturned, but today, we still gather here with no arrest,” said Zirk. “We don’t think this incident was random. Our detectives believe that this act of violence was committed by someone Meiko knew.”
It is the Locksley family’s hope that this most recent call for the public’s help will finally lead to substantial evidence and possibly an arrest.
“All we want is closure — we’re not mad, we’re not angry anymore. We’re hurt. We miss him,” Mike Locksley said. “We would just hope that if someone has any information that they would just come forward to maybe bring some closure.”
Gino Gutierrez is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GGutierrez_48