Former UNLV basketball player Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot and killed early Saturday morning after mistakenly breaking into a Dallas apartment that he believed belonged to his girlfriend.
The 23-year-old Dejean-Jones, who averaged 11.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in two seasons for the Runnin’ Rebels (2012-13, 2013-14), kicked open the front door to a unit at the Camden Belmont Apartments at about 3:20 a.m., waking up a man police said he didn’t know. Police said the man then grabbed his handgun and “called out” to Dejean-Jones but got no answer. When Dejean-Jones then kicked open the bedroom door, police say the man fired a shot in self-defense.
Dejean-Jones, who recently signed a three-year, $2 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, was struck in the abdomen and ran out of the apartment and collapsed in a breezeway. He was then taken to a local hospital where he died.
— Sarah Mervosh (@smervosh) May 28, 2016
Scott Nichols, the agent for Dejean-Jones, told CNN his client was in Dallas to visit his girlfriend for his daughter’s first birthday. Nichols said Dejean-Jones had visited the apartment for the first time earlier that day and when he returned that night he went to the unit directly below hers.
According to the Dallas Morning News, it is unclear whether the unnamed man who shot Dejean-Jones will face charges. Under Texas law, a person is allowed to use deadly force to defend himself in his home. It is not believed that Dejean-Jones was armed.
I just lost my best friend/cousin last night enjoy life because you never know if tomorrow is guaranteed love you soldier ! #RIPBDJ
— shabazz muhammad (@ShabazzMuhammad) May 28, 2016
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard left UNLV shortly after getting into a heated argument with guard Jelan Kendrick in the locker room shortly after the team’s loss to San Diego State in the 2014 Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center. He played his final season as a graduate transfer at Iowa State in 2014-15, averaging 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists while helping lead the Cyclones to their second consecutive Big 12 Tournament championship.
Dejean-Jones joined the Pelicans as a free agent rookie last season, starting 11 of 14 games and averaging 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds. He had 17 points and nine rebounds in a 99-96 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 4 before suffering a season-ending broken wrist.
Dejean-Jones’ parents discussed the loss of their son in a TV interview the Los Angeles station KCAL on Saturday night.
The NBA issued a statement mourning Dejean-Jones’ death, calling it a “tragic loss.”
“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,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Bryce’s family and the entire Pelicans organization during this difficult time.”
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) May 28, 2016