On Saturday night, Washburn University cornerback Corey Ballentine was elated to be selected as the New York Giants’ sixth round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Several hours later, he was involved in an off-campus shooting in which he was wounded and one of his best friends was killed.
USA Today reported that the shooting took place around 1:46 a.m. Sunday in Topeka, Kansas, about four blocks from Washburn’s campus. Police Lt. John Trimble told the news outlet that 23-year-old junior Dwane Simmons, who played defensive backfield for the Washburn Ichabods, was dead by the time police officers arrived on the scene.
Ballentine, who was Simmons’ teammate and roommate, was later confirmed as the second victim of the shooting after he took a private car to the hospital to be treated for his gunshot wound. The injury is non-life-threatening and the 23-year-old is expected to fully recover.
“Both Dwane and Corey have been great examples and representatives of the football team and of Washburn University in general. This was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration and a day to look forward to Dwane’s upcoming year at Washburn and the beginning of Corey’s professional career,” said a statement from Washburn University President Jerry Farley, according to CNN.
Washburn mourns loss of Ichabod football player Dwane Simmons https://t.co/ExJ6cNiECl— Washburn Athletics (@wusports) April 28, 2019
Meanwhile, the New York Giants posted a note on Twitter stating that they are “aware of the tragic situation.”
“We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons’ family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community.”
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that the “horrific situation” occurred after the two football players had attended a party. He also said that Ballentine’s wound will only take a couple of weeks for it to heal properly.
According to NJ.com, Giants rookies are scheduled to report on Thursday for a three-day minicamp. It is not currently known if Ballentine will be able to make it or not. However, if he does go, he probably won’t be able to perform many physical activities.
View this post on Instagram
It’s all a crazy dream until you do it. I can’t even explain the emotions I have right now. Blessed with the opportunity to live out my dream. Shout out the people that told me to pick a more realistic career. This is as real as it gets. Thank you to the Giants organization for believing in me. It’s only up from here. #GiantsPride
It is not known at this time if the police have any leads or have taken any suspects into custody, as no further details about the shooting have been revealed. According to local news station WIBW, the investigation remains ongoing, and the Topeka Police Criminal Investigation Bureau has asked anyone with information about the incident to call 785-368-9400.