Dallas Resident Kills New Orleans Pelicans Guard Who Broke Into Home

Rodney Stuckey, Bryce Dejean-Jones
The Associated Press

A New Orleans Pelicans guard lost his life early Saturday morning after a man shot him after the player broke into his apartment.

Bryce Dejean-Jones reportedly kicked-in a door at a Dallas apartment complex in which his girlfriend resided. But he apparently broke in to the wrong apartment. The resident, awoken from sleep sometime after 3 a.m., grabbed his gun and called out to the intruder. But the only response came when Dejean-Jones attempted to kick open his bedroom door. The resident responded by shooting him in the stomach, which led to the promising player’s death.

The player’s agent told CNN he visited Dallas to attend his one-year-old daughter’s birthday party. The mother lived directly above the residence in which Bryce-Dejean trespassed.

Texas law allows people to protect themselves with deadly force against intruders. Bryce-Dejean entered the home unarmed, according to reports. No charges have been filed against the shooter.

“It is with deep sadness that the Pelicans organization acknowledges the sudden passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones,” the New Orleans NBA franchise noted in a statement. “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.”

In 14 games for the Pelicans, the six-foot-six guard averaged 5.6 points, 1.1 assists, and 3.4 rebounds. He played college basketball for USC and UNLV before transferring to Iowa State. He excelled in the NBA’s Development League, which led to a call-up from the Pelicans. The rookie started in 11 games before a wrist injury ended his season.

The undrafted rookie signed a three-year deal earlier this year worth just over a $2 million after his meandering road from stints on several college basketball teams and in the D-League.

“Bryce inspired countless people with his hard work and perseverance on his journey to the NBA,” league commissioner said in a statement, “and he had a bright future in our league.”