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.
“My son deserves justice, please speak up if you know anything,” Dwane Simmons father, Navarro Simmons, told NBC affiliate KNST in Topeka, Kansas. “They have anonymous lines out there. Speak up.”
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Video: New York Giants draft pick shot, college teammate killed
Police in Topeka, where Washburn University is, said officers found Dwane Simmons, 23, dead when they responded to reports of gunfire about four blocks from the university, shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday.
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.
Navarro Simmons said that when he received a call from Ballentine on Sunday morning, he congratulated the young man. But the salutations were quickly cut short and replaced with sadness.
On Monday, Cochran explained that the initial disturbance call that came Sunday, around 12:45 a.m., involved a man and woman. At some point, a car drove up to the area, he continued, and police believe a conversation took place between people in the car and several other people, including Simmons and Ballentine.
“He said, No, Mr. Simmons, its not good,” Navarro Simmons said. “My heart just dropped and I just hopped up out of bed, I was scared.”
“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.”
Washburn President Jerry Farley said both Dwane Simmons and Ballentine have been great representatives of the university.
Corey Ballentine: Giants draftee posts message of sympathy for slain friend and teammate
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, Farley said in a statement Sunday.
Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine is recovering from a gunshot wound after an incident resulting in the death of a Washburn University teammate. (Michael Conroy | AP)
Giants draft pick Corey Ballentines gunshot wound is in the gluteal muscle, according to NFL Network, and that twist of fate is promising news for his recovery prognosis.
Cops gathering tons of evidence in Corey Ballentine shooting
Ballentine and his Washurn University football teammate and roommate Dwane Simmons were shot on the street early Sunday morning in Topeka, Kansas. Simmons was killed.
It sounds like #Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine is extremely lucky to be alive after taking a bullet to the glute the other night. The circumstances that led to the shooting remain unclear. pic.twitter.com/vTLiiT0c5V
Police said they were among dozens present at a social gathering and an investigation is underway to gather evidence and statements from witnesses.
Ballentine, who was hospitalized Sunday, will report Thursday with the rest of the Giants rookies to minicamp.
Hes a really bright kid and hes a great kid, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said of Ballentine on Sirius XM NFL radio after the shooting. What happened is tragic and unfortunate. Thats his best friend he was with.
We spoke to him on Sunday. Hes coming along fine. Hell be here Thursday for the minicamp this weekend.
Dr. David Chao, a respected former NFL team head doctor, practicing orthopedic surgeon and sports medical analyst for Sirius XM, said on social media Ballentine should make a quick and 100 percent recovery. He is not part of Ballentines treatment.
Glute is one of the largest muscles in the body and any nerve or artery is extremely deep and well protected, Chao said on Twitter.
Ballentine was the Giants sixth-round draft choice and one of three cornerbacks selected in the draft. The Giants regularly scouted Washburn games, Ballentine said, and he met extensively with defensive coordinator James Bettcher at the Senior Bowl.
Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine was shot on Sunday morning
Were getting this going here, Giants coach Pat Shurmur told Ballentine when informing him of his selection, just hours before tragedy struck. Were revamping the defense. Were getting players in here to help us be great. Im glad to add you to our team.
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