College football phenom shoots high school cheerleader girlfriend through window as she sleeps after breakup

Emma Walker was just 16 years old, and had tried to end the relationship — but he wouldn’t listen

A formerly budding football star has been indicted for the shooting death of his teenage ex-girlfriend.

William Riley Gaul, then a freshman receiver for Maryville College, a Division III school, was arrested in November on suspicion that he shot and killed his former girlfriend, 16-year-old Emma Walker of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Gaul is accused of shooting a 9 mm handgun through the window of Walker’s bedroom while she slept, and where she was found the morning of November 21, two weeks after breaking off their relationship — a breakup that Walker’s family members told local news the suspect “refused to accept.”

Gaul was cut from the Maryville College team after his arrest, and was formally indicted last week. The 18-year-old is facing charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, aggravated stalking, theft, tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment, and employing a firearm during a dangerous felony.

There appears to be a strong case building against Gaul. His grandfather reported his pistol missing on November 20, and said he noticed it was missing from his car two days earlier after briefly trading cars with his grandson. The grandfather told the police he was concerned about Gaul’s well-being, as he had spoken of suicide. A friend of the suspect’s told the police that Gaul showed him the gun on November 19, and that he had helped Gaul dispose of the weapon on November 22.

According to a Knoxville news station, Gaul voluntarily submitted to a DNA test. The results are pending release.


Photo: Knoxville Sheriff Department