Washburn football player killed, Giants draftee injured in weekend shooting – WIBW

Washburn football player killed, Giants draftee injured in weekend shooting - WIBW

“I love you forever” Corey Ballentine tweets for first time since shooting

When Corey Ballentine called Dwane Simmons father early Sunday morning to tell him about the shooting, the father prayed his sons injuries were minor.

Navarro Simmons was scared as he drove from Kansas City to Topeka. He hoped his son was shot in the leg, that he would find him in surgery at the hospital. He expected to see him alive.

I wouldve never had thought … Simmons mother, Chaquilla Everett, started to say hours later.

Simmons, a 23-year-old Washburn University football player from Lees Summit, was killed in the shooting at an off-campus party in Topeka. The gunfire also injured his roommate and close friend, Ballentine, a 23-year-old senior and recent New York Giants draft pick.

NFL Draft pick Corey Ballentine injured in shooting that left university team-mate dead

This was a senseless murder, Navarro Simmons said as more than two dozen family members and friends gathered at the southeast Kansas City home of Simmons mother Sunday afternoon. This shattered a lot of people.

Gunman on the loose in shooting of NFL draft pick

The gunfire erupted about 12:45 a.m. Sunday in the 1400 block of Southwest 13th Street, a few blocks from the universitys campus. Simmons died from his injuries. Ballentine was hospitalized and the university said he was expected to make a full recovery.

The parents of slain Washburn University football player Dwane Simmons are asking for the publics help in identifying who killed their son and wounded his friend, Corey Ballentine, hours after Ballentine was drafted by the New York Giants over the weekend.

The family said they learned from detectives that Simmons and Ballentine were about to leave the party, put on by the colleges womens soccer team, with other football players when a vehicle pulled up and the people inside asked them a question. When the car circled back, someone inside started shooting, Navarro Simmons said.

“There were dozens present at the social gathering, and we are currently working to gather evidence and statements from witnesses,” Topeka police said in a statement. “We want to emphasize that we need those who were present to let us know what they saw.”

Todd Ashley, 24, was home when his sister called him Sunday morning with the news that his close cousin was killed.

He described Simmons, who he grew up with, as a ray of light. He wished others lived life like his outgoing cousin.

The college junior was killed at an off-campus party, according to authorities. His close friend, Ballentine, 23, a senior, was wounded and is expected to make a full recovery. Ballentine was picked in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

Video: NFL Draft pick Corey Ballentine injured and teammate Dwane Simmons killed in shooting

Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine was shot on Sunday morning

Family members described Simmons as an energetic junior in college with an infectious smile who had dreams of playing in the NFL or anywhere that would have him. A 2014 graduate of Lees Summit West High School, where he holds a record in track and field, Simmons studied mass media at Washburn in the hopes of covering sports if playing professional football did not pan out.

Both players have been representing the Washburn Ichabods in college football but Ballentine, also 23, had just been selected to move up to the NFL next season.

Simmons played defensive back for the Washburn Ichabods beginning in 2015 when he started nine games as a redshirt freshman.

Corey Ballentine, the New York Giants sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft, has been injured in a shooting that left one of his university team-mates dead.

He sat out the 2016 season and appeared in two games in 2017 before suffering a season-ending injury. Last season, he started six games and appeared in all 11. Simmons returned from two knee injuries. His father called him resilient for it.

Mike Francesa shames Giants for Corey Ballentine getting shot

Simmons loved to make people laugh and was the life of any party, something he got from his father, family said. The charismatic athlete also loved to dance, something he got from his mother. Everett recalled how her son, the oldest of six, danced with relatives during his sisters 21st birthday party, scuffing up the hardwood floors.

“Any time we lose a student it is a sad occasion, but it is particularly poignant to lose a student through such a senseless act,” Washburn president Dr. Jerry Farley said in a statement. “Both Dwane and Corey have been great examples and representatives of the football team and of Washburn University in general. This was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration and a day to look forward to Dwanes upcoming year at Washburn and the beginning of Coreys professional career.”

Navarro Simmons knows the hardest part of the grieving process will begin when everyone has gone home, when he is in a quiet room by himself.

Washburn Coach Craig Schurig called the news about Simmons “heartbreaking” and added “Dwane is one of the most energetic and well-liked players I have ever coached at Washburn. Dwanes infectious smile and love for football and his teammates was truly inspirational. Our prayers of healing go out to his family, his parents Navarro and Yasmine Simmons and Chaquilla Williams.”

His sons killing is not the familys first tragedy: In 2000, Navarro Simmons brother, Michael Simmons, 19, was fatally shot during an attempted carjacking in south Kansas City. His killer is serving a life sentence.

“Its all a crazy dream until you do it,” Ballentine, a sixth-round pick, tweeted Saturday evening. “I cant even explain the emotions I have right now. S/o the people that told me to pick a more realistic career. This is as real as it gets. Thank you to the Giants organization for believing in me. Its only up from here. #GiantsPride”

Michael Simmons took Dwane to a movie shortly before he was killed. Though he was young, Dwane Simmons was close with his uncle, whose name he got tattooed on one of his arms as motivation, family members said.

Details are sketchy, but WIBWs Tyler Greever reports that the two men were close and Simmons Twitter feed Saturday was filled with tweets about Ballentine. Officers were summoned to the scene of the shooting at about 12:45 a.m. Central time, and the station reports that Simmons died at the scene.

Navarro Simmons now knows how his mother felt when his brother was killed. She had wished Michael Simmons had children she could watch grow, so she could see him in them.

Listen, you can have an off-field incident with any draft pick any time, Francesa said. But when you finish your draft and stress how you went out of your way to take the right kind of guys, guys that you want on the team, guys that are going to be great character guys and you stress that as strongly as the Giants did, it looks pretty bad when one of them gets shot on a Saturday night. It does not look good. Its just more of the same for the Giants, who just cant get out of their own way, no matter what they say.

Video: New York Giants draft pick shot, college teammate killed

While he was aggressive on the field, Simmons would not have hurt a fly off it, said his stepfather, Corey Everett. Family members wanted people to know their loved one was not a gang member and didnt get into trouble.

NFL draft pick doing as good as can be expected after shooting, father says

Navarro Simmons helped his son move apartments Friday. In a Facebook video Saturday, the elder Simmons congratulated Ballentine, a defensive back, on getting drafted by the New York Giants as the 180th overall pick.

Simmonss family say police told them the two players were about to leave a party early on Sunday near their college, Washburn University, when a vehicle pulled up to them. They talked to people in the car before shots were fired and Simmons was killed. He was 23. Police in Topeka, Kansas, have not suggested Simmons or Ballentine were culpable for the incident.

Washburns head football coach, Craig Schurig, said Simmons death was heartbreaking. In a statement, he described the shooting as a terrible way to end a day that should have been spent celebrating.

Ballentine plays at cornerback and was selected in the sixth round by the Giants on Saturday, shortly before the shooting. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community, the Giants said in a statement.

Dwane is one of the most energetic and well-liked players I have ever coached at Washburn, Schurig said, calling his love for football and his teammates truly inspirational.

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Corey Ballentine: Giants draftee posts message of sympathy for slain friend and teammate

Before the shooting, as he helped his son move, Navarro Simmons shared an intimate moment with his son. It was a happy time. The two prayed, and Navarro Simmons reminded Dwane of how proud he was of him. Before long, he would move on to the next chapter of his life.

“Both Dwane and Corey have been great examples and representatives of the football team and of Washburn University in general,” Farley said. “This was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration and a day to look forward to Dwanes upcoming year at Washburn and the beginning of Coreys professional career.”

Now, instead of video calls from his son, Navarro Simmons phone rang repeatedly Sunday afternoon from relatives and reporters, including one from The New York Times, hoping to talk to him.

Washburn University Football Player Killed, NY Giants Draftee Injured In Shooting

Simmons sister, 22-year-old Damesha Simmons, placed her head on her fathers shoulder. Tears rolled down her face.

“We are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information. We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community.”

Corey Ballentine expected to attend Giants rookie mini-camp

You hurt a lot of people, Navarro Simmons said of whoever pulled the trigger. Turn yourself in.

Saturday was one of the best days of Corey Ballentine’s life as the cornerback was drafted in the sixth round by the Giants, but things took a bad turn for Ballentine early Sunday morning.

Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call the Topeka Criminal Investigation Bureau at 785-368-9400 or the Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007. Anonymous tips can be made online at p3tips.com/128.

Washburn Footballs Simmons killed, Ballentine injured in shooting

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — Former Washburn Ichabod football player Corey Ballentine paid tribute to his one-time teammate and “true friend,” Dwane Simmons, in his first public statement since Simmons was killed and Ballentine was injured in a central Topeka shooting over the weekend.

Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine shot hours after selection, college teammate killed

God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. I love you forever, Ballentine said in at tweet Monday afternoon.

NFL draft pick shot hours after being selected by New York Giants

Thank you for being a true friend who uplifted me, corrected me when I was in the wrong, and accepted my flaws, he continued. Thank you for being a brother to me. Thank you for letting me experience your life”.

BREAKING: Giants Draft Pick Corey Ballentine Shot and Injured Sunday Morning

Ballentine suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the Sunday morning shooting during a party near SW 13th and Lane St. Washburn University said he is expected to recover.

NFL player Corey Ballentine shot in Kansas just hours after being drafted by New York Giants

No one has been arrested in connection with his death. Topeka Police are encouraging anyone who was there to call investigators at 785-368-9400, or Shawnee Co. Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007. Tips to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous.

God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. I love you forever. Thank you for being a true friend who uplifted me, corrected me when i was in the wrong, and accepted my flaws. Thank you for being a brother to me. Thank you for letting me experience your life�� pic.twitter.com/SfqX9v6qgY


Posted in Topeka