New Orleans Pelicans rookie guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot and killed in Dallas over the holiday weekend after breaking into an apartment he thought belonged to the mother of his 1-year-old daughter. He was only 23 years old.
Joshua Pool , a manager at the Camden Belmont apartment complex said in a statement via email
“After breaking in, the intruder was shot and later taken via ambulance to a local hospital.” He added, “Fortunately, no residents were injured.”
According to police spokesman DeMarquis Black, Dejean-Jones was shot after he first kicked in the apartment door alarming the unnamed resident of the apartment. The resident called out upon hearing the noise and by the time the NBA star kicked the bedroom door of the apartment the resident had drawn his gun and fired though the door. This all happened around 3:20 Saturday morning.
The unarmed Pelicans player collapsed in an outside hallway and was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
“There is no information that suggests the deceased Bryce Dejean-Jones knew the apartment resident, or was armed as he entered the apartment,” Black told CNN.
In a interview with CNN Dejean-Jones’ agent, Scott Nichols,says that Dejean-Jonesdied from a gunshot wound to the abdomen and that Dejean-Jones was in Dallas to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday.
ESPN reports Dejean-Jones argued with the child’s mother shortly before Dejean-Jones attempted to enter the locked apartment. The pair had been out together prior to the shooting, according to Nichols, the woman returned to the apartment before the young NBA star and when he got to the apartment and couldn’t get in he mistakenly assumed she had locked him out.
“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 told the Associated Press. “So one thing led to another.”
It is to be noted that this was Dejean-Jones’ first time visiting his childs’ mother in this building. She lives on the 4th floor, the apartment he went to was on the 3rd .
“It is with deep sadness that the Pelicans organization acknowledges the sudden passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones,” a statement from the team reads. “We are devastated at the loss of this young man’s life who had such a promising future ahead of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s family during this difficult time.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also expressed his condolences,
“The NBA family mourns the tragic loss of New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones,” Silver 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. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Bryce’s family and the entire Pelicans organization during this difficult time.”
No charges have been filed against the shooter because under Texas law, a person is allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves in their home but cannot provoke the attacker or be involved in criminal activity at the time.
A young life ended so soon, Dejean-Jones signed a three-year contract with the Pelicans earlier this year. Sadly we will never get to find out just what he was capable of bringing to the NBA.
Wikipedia notes that Dejean-Jones is the first active NBA player to die since 2007.