5 Duquesne Basketball Players Gunned Down, 1 Critical

PITTSBURGH – Five players from the Duquesne University basketball team were shot Sept. 17 after a dance at the school’s student union.

According to police, at about 2 a.m., two of the players who were walking on campus encountered another dance attendee who had been disruptive during the event. After the players had words with the man, they walked away believing the issue had been resolved but were shot. The other players who attempted to help their teammates were also shot. Witnesses estimate that as many as 12 shots were fired.

Three of the victims were hospitalized with one in critical condition. Sam Ashaolu was shot in the head and reportedly fighting for his life.  Stuard Baldonado was also seriously injured during the incident: a bullet passed through his abdomen and nicked his lumbar. Both Ashaolu and Baldonado were taken to Mercy Hospital. Shawn James and Aaron Jackson were both treated and released from Mercy Hospital as well. Kojo Mensah was taken at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center Presbyterian hospital, but hospital officials did not release information about his condition.

Witnesses say the shooter had two guns. They saw the suspect leave the campus after firing the shots. He has not been apprehended.

The City of Pittsburgh Police Department is investigating the incident. Campus police are cooperating with the city, and believe the shooter was not a Duquesne student.

Additional campus police officers have been posted at all residence halls. The university is also providing counseling services for victims and other students.

In a statement released Sept. 17, Duquesne University President Charles J. Dougherty, Ph.D. said, “There is no doubt that our students are the victims. They had no weapons. There is no evidence of alcohol or drug use among our athletes. They did nothing to provoke this sort of violent response. Indeed, we are proud of our basketball team and the many other Duquesne students who pulled the injured away from the scene, provided first aid, and ensured timely access to professional medical treatment.”

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