Tragedy has struck the family of two-time NBA All-Star forward Zach Randolph. The Sacramento Kings forward lost his older brother Roger Randolph in an early morning shooting on Saturday. Zach was reportedly not with his brother when the crime took place.
According to The New York Post, Roger was socializing at Hop’s Blues Room on South McClure Street in Marion, Indiana. At around 5 a.m. on Saturday, police responded to gunshots fired outside the club. Officers found Roger lying on the ground between two parked cars bleeding from bullet wounds in his abdomen. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Marion is 60 miles southeast of Indianapolis and the city also happens to be the Randolph brothers’ hometown. Sacramento Kings General Manager and former NBA star Vlade Divac issued a statement on Twitter expressing condolences to the Randolph family:
“We are deeply saddened to learn of Roger Randolph’s tragic death,” Divac’s statement reads. “As a cherished member of the Kings family, our prayers, heartfelt condolences and thoughts are with Zach and his family during this painful and difficult time.”
Investigators have yet to uncover a motive for the fatal shooting. However, authorities do believe that the shooting was a deliberate act. According to FOX 59 News reporter Alexa Green, police are searching for two suspects connected with the murder.
Social media responses to the news of Roger’s death range from an outpouring of support for Zach and the family who lost their mother last year, to intense criticism of outlets like the Associated Press (AP) and ESPN who opted to highlight the deceased’s criminal record.
Calling their coverage “disgraceful,” New York Daily News journalist Chuck Modiano tweeted that the majority of the article that the AP and ESPN posted focused on incidents that took place as far back as 2004. Modiano also said that other news outlets are under no obligation to reprint stories verbatim. Like his brother, Roger was a talented basketball player who was loved by many.
FOX 4 News reported that as many as 25 people were inside the barbecue establishment at the time of the shooting. However, most of them had left the scene by the time officers arrived from a nearby police station.
Sgt. Mark Stefanatos told WTHR News that shell casings and stray bullets from two different caliber guns were found at the scene. The Marion Police Department is asking the general public to contact them with any leads on the shooter and/or witnesses. The investigation is ongoing.