Darius Lee, a basketball player for Houston Baptist, was shot and killed in New York City early on Monday, according to the NYPD and the university.
After midnight, East 139th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan were the scenes of a shooting, according to a statement from the NYPD, according to PEOPLE. Lee and eight other people were found shot when police arrived on the site.
The patients were brought to nearby hospitals, but Lee, age 21, passed away from his wounds. Although an arrest has not yet been made, authorities are still looking into the shooting. Lee wasn’t the intended target, according to authorities, the New York Post said.
Tiara Lee, Lee’s sister, told the news organization that “he was an innocent boy who was in school playing basketball. “He cared about basketball. He decided to stay outside one day, and this is what happens.”
“My brother’s gone,” she added. “Great kid. He’s gone for no reason. I’ve been trying to figure it out myself.
Houston Baptist University said in a statement that Lee was a student-athlete there and that he was “on schedule to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in December.” The Harlem native was also “recently selected HBU Robbie Robertson Male Student-Athlete of the Year,” the school added.
“We are in shock. Ron Cottrell, the James Sears Bryant Head Men’s Basketball Coach at HBU, described Darius as a “wonderful young man who loved the Lord, his mom, his family, his teammates, his friends, and his entire HBU family.”
He was an even greater person than a brilliant basketball player. Basketball is the last thing on my mind right now. I can only recall what a shining star Darius was for the brief time he was here. We adored him and it was a pleasure to train him,” he continued.
Lee’s family and loved ones also received condolences from HBU Director of Athletics Steve Moniaci, who described the dead basketball player as “a very good young guy who had a very bright career in front of him both on and off the court.”
We all hope it would stop, but this is regrettably yet another instance of the mindless gun violence that appears to be ravaging our nation at the moment, Moniaci continued.