As reported by ESPN, New Orleans Pelicans rookie guard Bryce Dejean-Jones died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen early on Saturday morning at an apartment complex in Dallas, Texas. According to the Dallas Police, officers responded to a call about a shooting at an apartment at approximately 3:20 am. The resident of the apartment said that somebody (Dejean-Jones) had kicked open their front door and entered the apartment. The resident, who had been asleep, grabbed a handgun when he heard the noise. The resident reportedly called out and did not receive an answer, so he fired two shots at the intruder. One of the bullets reportedly struck Dejean-Jones in the chest. Dejean-Jones then ran out the door of the apartment and collapsed out in the hallway. Bryce Dejean-Jones was transported to a local hospital but was pronounced dead at approximately 5 am.
The Pelicans released a statement on the matter on Saturday afternoon confirming the sad news of Dejean-Jones’ death.
“It is with deep sadness that the Pelicans organization acknowledges the sudden passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones. We are devastated at the loss of this young man’s life who had such a promising future ahead of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s family during this difficult time.”
The Dallas Police also told ESPN on Saturday that they do not believe Dejean-Jones and the resident of the apartment he broke into had any prior personal relationship. The Pelicans had just signed Dejean-Jones to a three-year contract back in February.
Why Bryce Dejean-Jones decided to kick in an apartment door and enter without permission remains unknown, as the Dallas Police have yet to depict a clear picture of just what exactly went down. The DPD also have yet to confirm whether or not the incident was alcohol or drug related on the part of Dejean-Jones, but autopsy results in the coming days will likely be able to answer all of these questions. Technically, what the resident of this apartment did was not illegal (assuming this is what actually took place), as the state of Texas holds the “Castle Doctrine,” otherwise known as “The King of the Castle law.” This law basically states that if somebody intrudes into your home, apartment, or onto your property in the state of Texas, you as an individual have the right to stand your ground (shoot them). The death of Bryce Dejean-Jones is incredibly tragic, to say the least, but sadly, this situation seemed to have been caused by his own wrongdoing.
Dejean-Jones becomes the second professional athlete to play for a team in the city of New Orleans to be killed due to gun violence in the last several months, as former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot to death in an apart road rage incident on April 9th in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans.