A men’s Drake basketball player has been arrested and charged in relation to the off-campus shooting of a 19-year-old university student.
Tremell Murphy, who is headed into his senior season as a student-athlete, has been charged with false reports to law enforcement and discharging a firearm within city limits, two misdemeanors, according to a news release from Des Moines police.
He was booked in the Polk County Jail on Thursday and bonded out about 90 minutes later.
Jarad Bernstein, a spokesman with the university, said officials there are conducting a review of the shooting, which they believed to be accidental. Murphy, one of the Bulldogs’ starters last season, has been removed from men’s basketball team activities, according a statement from Bernstein.
No statement is expected from the athletic department.
The charges for Murphy stem from a report about 11 p.m. Aug. 31 in the 1100 block of 27th Street. Des Moines police officers arrived at the home and found a 19-year-old man with a towel being compressed on his head lying near a small pool of blood, according to an incident report.
Police were told the person had fallen, but an officer noticed a bullet hole in a wall near where the man was being treated. The round appeared to come through the wall from an adjacent room and a shell casing was found on a bed in that room, investigators found.
The victim, who authorities believe was shot from an adjacent room, has been identified, but the Register does not typically name the victims in shootings without their consent.
Murphy, a 6-foot-6 forward, eventually told investigators that the room where the casing was found was his and there was a gun in the home.
“Murphy told officers that he had a .22 caliber pistol in a dresser drawer in the bedroom. One spent shell casing was recovered from the room,” the police release states. “Throughout this initial investigation, Murphy insisted that (the victim) had fallen and injured his head.”
The release later says that “Murphy indicated that he accidentally discharged the weapon. Murphy also admitted knowingly withholding information in regards to the shooting.”
Murphy, whom Drake basketball’s website lists as a native of Griffiith, Indiana, transferred to the Bulldogs from Florida Southwestern after being named an all-American at the junior college level in 2018. He started 32 games for Drake last season, averaging 10 points and six rebounds a game.
“This is a sad and difficult time for the Drake community,” Jerry Parker, Drake’s dean of students said in a statement Thursday. “Our thoughts are first and foremost with the injured student and his family, and with the hope of a full recovery. The injury is serious but not life-threatening, and, gratefully, no one else was hurt. The University will continue providing support to all of those affected by the incident, while we complete the internal review.”
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