Two LSU football players were trying to sell an electronic item when one of them fatally shot an 18-year-old man trying to rob them, police said Sunday.
A statement released by Baton Rouge police does not identify the players, but a person familiar with the investigation told the Associated Press that the players are running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and linebacker Jared Small. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because LSU and police have not released the players’ names.
The man killed was identified by police as Kobe Johnson. He was not an LSU student and died at the scene Saturday.
LSU players called police, waited at the scene, were questioned and were released while the investigation continues.
After Johnson displayed a weapon, one of the players pulled out a handgun and fired multiple times, police said. Authorities have not said whether the player was licensed to carry the firearm he used.
Edwards-Helaire, a Baton Rouge native, has rushed for 626 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games this season. Small, a freshman who also is from Baton Rouge, has played sparingly.
It remains to be seen how LSU will handle their playing status when the Tigers finish the season against UCF in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.
The only comment so far from LSU has come from athletic director Joe Alleva, who said in a statement that the university was “in constant contact with law enforcement regarding this terrible situation.”
“Right now, our concern is for the safety and well-being of our student-athletes,” the statement said. “They have been involved in a traumatic incident and we have made our counselors available to assist immediately.”
Alleva deferred all other questions to law enforcement.
The shooting was the second involving an LSU athlete in the past three months. In late September, Tigers basketball player Wayde Sims, also a Baton Rouge native, was killed by gunfire on a street near Southern University’s campus while trying to defend a friend who’d been involved in a fight.
FSU hires Briles
Florida State has hired former Houston assistant Kendal Briles as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Terms weren’t disclosed.
Briles resigned Saturday after Houston (8-5) finished the season with a 70-14 loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars were No. 4 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring (46.4 points per game) and No. 6 in total offense (528.6 yards per game) in the regular season.
The 36-year-old Briles has been an assistant coach at Florida Atlantic (2017) and Baylor (2008-16), and he has spent the last four seasons as offensive coordinator. FSU said Briles would have “primary play-calling duties” under coach Willie Taggart.
Briles was on staff at Baylor when his father, Art, was fired because of allegations of sexual assault by football players. Kendal Briles remained on staff after Baylor fired his father in 2016.