DALLAS (AP) — New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce
Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas
apartment, authorities said Saturday.
A man living at the apartment was sleeping when he
heard his front door kicked open, Dallas Police Senior Cpl. DeMarquis Black
said in a statement. 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. He was 23.
"We are devastated at the loss of this young
man's life," the Pelicans said in a statement.
Dejean-Jones was visiting his girlfriend for his
daughter's first birthday, which was Saturday, according to his agent, Scott W.
Nichols. He said the girlfriend returned to the apartment 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," 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 real estate company that owns the apartment complex in Dallas, confirmed
that the complex's apartment manager had sent out an email to residents saying
that 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 apartment.
Black said he could not confirm that Dejean-Jones was
trying to access an acquaintance's apartment.
In Dejean-Jones' only NBA season, which ended in
February because of a broken right wrist, the 6-foot-6 guard started 11 of 14
games and averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called it a "tragic
"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," Silver said in a statement issued Saturday.
Dejean-Jones was part of the 2014-15 Iowa State team
that went 25-9, captured a Big 12 title and made a fourth consecutive trip to
the NCAA Tournament. He was fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 10.5
points in 33 games. He shot a career-best 47.6 percent in his lone season as a
Cyclone. He also played at Southern California and UNLV and was signed by the
Pelicans last summer after not being selected in the 2015 draft.
"Bryce's dedication and hard work on his journey
to the NBA will forever serve as an inspiration to us all," said National
Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts, who had
posted a link to the story of Dejean-Jones' death on Twitter and wrote that it
was "The news I pray every day I never have to hear."
Dejean-Jones was suspended late in the 2013-14 season
from UNLV for conduct detrimental to the team, and announced that he was
leaving USC midway through the 2010-11 season.
"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.
Former Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg, now the coach of
the NBA's Chicago Bulls, added 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."
Nichols said Dejean-Jones had nearly completed his
rehab and was set to begin shooting with his right hand again next week.
"It's shocking this happened," Nichols said.
"Wrong place, wrong time, I think."
Besides Muhammad, several NBA players reacted on
Twitter on Saturday.
"Crazy how life is man," wrote Brooklyn Nets
guard Shane Larkin. "Prayers out to Bryce Dejean Jones and his
Added Quincy Pondexter, one of Dejean-Jones' teammates
with the Pelicans: "This Can't be real life... Rest easy lil bro."
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reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
Posted on Sun, May 29, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette