UAB freshman linebacker Allen Merrick has died at age 19 .... after suffering a gunshot wound in what cops are describing as an apparent accidental shooting.
Details on the incident are unclear at this time, other than it happened in Merrick's hometown of Gadsden, Alabama. We're working on it.
UAB football head coach Bill Clark rushed to support Merrick and his family in the wake of the shooting. He had asked people to send prayers and support on Friday ... but unfortunately, Merrick passed away a short time later.
"Please pray for the family of Allen Merrick, a young man who joined our UAB Football Family this season," Clark said at the time.
"Allen was visiting home in Gadsden yesterday when he suffered a gunshot wound. He is at UAB Hospital where I've been with Allen's family, but I do not have a condition I can share at this time."
Gadsden PD confirmed the news to AL.com on Friday ... saying the investigation is ongoing, but it appears to be an accidental shooting.
Merrick -- a 3-star prospect -- was a star for Gadsden High ... earning Defensive Player of the Year honors.
"I ask that everyone please respect his family's privacy and keep them all in your prayers."