Palmetto police investigate death of Palmetto High School football player

PALMETTO — A Palmetto High School student and football player was killed Thursday afternoon in an incident involving a vehicle, according to the Palmetto Police Department.

Kyle O’Halloran, 18, was outside his home in the 1900 block of 24th Avenue West in Palmetto when a vehicle pulled into the driveway around 5 p.m., according to Palmetto Deputy Chief Scott Tyler.

O’Halloran approached the vehicle and an unknown altercation followed between him and the vehicles’ occupants, Tyler said. The vehicle then started pulling out, dragging O’Halloran for a bit, and he hit the ground.

Though witnesses originally thought it was a shooting, Tyler said they were not convinced that a gun was involved. It’s possible that after O’Halloran was dragged and fell, that his head hit the ground or a rock in a way that caused enough damage to kill him, Tyler said.

A young woman was screaming and crying when told the news, telling people around her that she, “didn’t care,” when they told her police wanted her to stay out of the house. Palmetto police called the Manatee County

Sheriff’s Office to secure the perimeter, though they eventually let the woman into the house.

Another young woman came out of the house right after the crime scene perimeter was set up with bloodstains all over her clothes, including two big stains around her shins and knees, as though she had been kneeling in a pool of blood. She told nearby friends that she had tried to give O’Halloran CPR, but it hadn’t done any good.

Family members of O’Halloran, including his mother and his father, came out of the house many times, hugging friends as they arrived on scene and crying into their arms. His father told friends that O’Halloran had just received an acceptance letter from a college this week.

Police are not releasing the names of those who were in the vehicle, though they know who it was, according to Tyler. They will be talking to those involved.

The death has not currently been ruled a homicide.

O’Halloran was an accomplished athlete, who was a fullback and a linebacker for Palmetto High School, which went to the Class 7A-Region 3 Quarterfinals in November. He also won the discus competition at the Manatee County Track and Field championships in April.

Late Thursday, the Palmetto High School Athletic Department tweeted: “We pause to remember Kyle O’Halloran. We are collecting details and will issue a statement soon. Please keep Kyle and his family in prayer.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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