A professional basketball player has been fatally shot after trying to break into an apartment in the city of Dallas. Sources close to the slain player speculate the killing could have been a simple misunderstanding.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot Saturday after breaking down the door of a Dallas apartment. But those who knew him say 23-year-old may have thought he had been locked out of his girlfriend's unit, which is in the same building.
"He went to the wrong apartment, unfortunately, and I think he thought his girlfriend locked him out, so he was knocking on the door, banging on the door," said the player's agent, Scott W. Nichols. "So one thing led to another."
Dallas police spokesman DeMarquis Black told CNN that an unidentified resident at the complex said he heard someone enter his apartment by kicking in the front door. Black told CNN that the resident called out but received no reply, and when his bedroom door was kicked open, he fired a handgun and shot DeJean-Jones in the abdomen.
Police officer who responded found the basketball player collapsed in an outdoor passageway and later died at a hospital.
A promising life and career cut short
It is legal in Texas for someone to use deadly force in order to protect themselves from intruders, and it was unclear whether the resident would be charged with a crime.
"We are devastated at the loss of this young man's life," the Pelicans basketball team said in a statement.
In Dejean-Jones' only NBA season, which ended in February because of a broken wrist, the 6-foot-6-inch (198-centimeter) guard started 11 of 14 games and averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds.
"Bryce inspired countless people with his hard work and perseverance on his journey to the NBA, and he had a bright future in our league," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement issued Saturday.
Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, who had coached the young player in at Iowa State University, said in a statement that Dejean-Jones was a "passionate and talented player that lived out his dream of playing in the NBA through hard work and perseverance."
jar/sms (AP, dpa)