New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones, 23, was fatally shot after breaking into a Dallas, Texas, apartment he thought belonged to his girlfriend.
At approximately 3:20 a.m. on May 28, a resident of an apartment in the same building as Dejean-Jones’ girlfriend was asleep when he heard someone kick in the front door, KDFW reports. The resident grabbed his handgun and shot the NBA player when he entered the bedroom.
The resident reportedly called out to the intruder before firing his gun, but did not receive an answer, according to ESPN.
Police found Dejean-Jones in an outdoor passageway with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was transported to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Dejean-Jones was in Dallas for his daughter’s first birthday. It was the first time he had been to his girlfriend’s new apartment.
The couple reportedly had an argument and did not return to the apartment together.
“I don’t know exactly what was said," Dejean-Jones’ agent Scott Nichols said, according to KTVT. Nichols continued:
It could have been ... a normal argument of any couple, but I think maybe that was the reason why he was walking around. Cool some air off. She went in the apartment first, and he was looking … I don’t think he was breaking in as far as … I think he was frustrated he couldn’t get in the apartment. He didn’t have the keys...
...He didn’t know his way around. Literally the apartment he went to was the one right under her, and he was banging, he knocked on the door, and then he started banging on the door thinking maybe she locked him out.
Dejean-Jones was not armed when he entered the stranger’s apartment, according to police. Charges have not been filed against the apartment resident who shot him, ESPN reports.
Dejean-Jones just finished his first season with the Pelicans early after suffering a broken wrist.
"It is with deep sadness that the Pelicans organization acknowledges the sudden passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones," the team said in a statement. "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."