Wednesday 26 October 2016

Basketball star shot dead in Texas 'after breaking down door to wrong flat'

Published 29/05/2016 | 05:51

Bryce Dejean-Jones, pictured playing for the New Orleans Pelicans last October, was shot dead after breaking down the door of a Dallas flat (AP)
Bryce Dejean-Jones, pictured playing for the New Orleans Pelicans last October, was shot dead after breaking down the door of a Dallas flat (AP)
NBA players reacted with shock to the news that New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones has been shot dead (AP)

US basketball star Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot dead after breaking down the door to a Texas flat.

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A man living at the flat was sleeping when he heard his front door kicked open, Dallas Police Senior Corporal DeMarquis Black said.

When Dejean-Jones began kicking at the bedroom door, the man retrieved a handgun and fired.

Officers who responded found Dejean-Jones collapsed in an outdoor passageway, and he died at a hospital. The New Orleans Pelicans guard was 23.

"We are devastated at the loss of this young man's life," the Pelicans said.

Dejean-Jones was visiting his girlfriend for his daughter's first birthday, which was on Saturday, according to his agent, Scott Nichols.

He said the girlfriend returned to the flat first while Dejean-Jones went for a walk after they had gone out.

She lives on the fourth floor, and Dejean-Jones, who was visiting the complex for the first time, went to the third.

"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, it's locked," Mr Nichols said. "So one thing led to another."

It is legal in Texas for someone to use deadly force in order to protect themselves from intruders.

"I just lost my best friend/cousin last night enjoy life because you never know if tomorrow is guaranteed," Shabazz Muhammad of the Minnesota Timberwolves wrote on Twitter.

Julie Keel, a spokeswoman for Camden Property Trust, the company that owns the complex, confirmed the apartment manager had sent an email to residents saying the person who had been shot had been trying to break into "the apartment of an estranged acquaintance" and that this person had "inadvertently" broken into the wrong flat.

In his only NBA season, which ended in February because of a broken right wrist, Dejean-Jones started 11 of 14 games.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver called it a "tragic loss".

He said: "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."

Dejean-Jones previously played for the Iowa State team and was signed by the Pelicans last summer.

"This is a very, very sad and tragic day for everyone that's a part of the Cyclone basketball family," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said.

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