Two University of Utah football players were shot over the weekend after an altercation at an off-campus party, but both men are expected to recover, the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting.
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 15, 2015
Freshman running back Marcel Brooks-Brown and sophomore left guard Lo Falemaka both hold active roster spots on the University of Utah’s football team, the Utes. The two men were at a party off-campus when three men described as “uninvited guests” showed up. The host asked them to leave, words were exchanged, the two football players joined in the fracas, and eventually gunfire erupted.
Neighbor Nils Balleck at first thought that he’d heard firecrackers going off, according to News Oxy, that is, until he saw the crowd’s reaction.
“There was just some pushing and shoving and loud voices and all of a sudden, bang, bang, bang. The reactions were not fireworks reactions. People kind of started freaking out when they realized that people just got shot.”
Salt Lake City police spokesperson Robin Heiden said in a statement that the two Utah football players are the victims in this crime, although it’s not clear what, specifically, led to the shooting.
“At some point they got involved into an altercation back and forth. I don’t know if it became physical or what not but one of the male suspects pulled out a gun and shot both of the victims.”
Utah Football coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement that both of his players are expected to recover.
“Obviously, our first concern is that both Lo and Marcel are going to be OK, which appears to be the case. We don’t have all of the details yet, but it is our understanding that they are the victims in this incident and we feel very fortunate that they are expected to fully recover.”
The three suspects in the shooting are described as a heavy-set, white male with a beard; a six-foot tall black man wearing a red shirt with a red bandanna under a baseball cap; and a five-foot-nine black male, also wearing a red shirt with dreadlocks under a baseball cap. Salt Lake City police are investigating the crime as a possible act of gang violence due to the description of the suspects.
As of this post, it is not known when the two Utah football players are expected to return to the field.
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Gene Sweeney Jr.]