*** Information provided by the Associated Press

MERIDIAN, Miss. -- A spokesman for Mississippi State University has confirmed the death of former Bulldogs wide receiver Chris Smith.

The Clarion Ledger reports that the 26-year-old Smith was shot and killed Friday night in Meridian. Meridian Police Department Sgt. Dareall Thompson said authorities are trying to determine a motive and were searching Saturday for a suspect, according to The Meridian Star.

Mississippi State spokesman Sid Salter confirmed the death and Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen released a statement describing university officials as shocked and saddened. He called Smith a "terrific teammate" with an "impeccable" work ethic.

"Our entire Mississippi State family mourns his loss," Mullen said.

Smith played in 48 games for Mississippi State from 2009-12. He caught 109 passes for 1,180 yards and five touchdowns. His 109 receptions rank 10th in the university's career history.

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