Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham has confirmed that two people shot last night in Salt Lake City were Utah football players. Sophomore tight end Lo Falemaka and freshman running back Marcel Brooks-Brown are both expected to recover from gunshot wounds to the torso. According to a statement from the Salt Lake Police Department, which follows, the suspects are still at large.
Coach Kyle Whittingham issued this statement.
“Obviously, our first concern is that both Lo and Marcel are going to be OK, which appears to be the case. We don’t have all of the details yet, but it is our understanding that they are the victims in this incident and we feel very fortunate that they are expected to fully recover. It is unknown at this time how soon they will be able to return to the football field, but we are optimistic it will be in the near future.”
Under the medical privacy act HIPAA, both players are at an undisclosed area hospital and are not available for comment. No one on the coaching staff or team will be available for interviews today.
Falemaka, from West Valley City, Utah (Cottonwood HS), walked on to the team in 2013, redshirting that season. He has since been placed on scholarship. He played on the scout teams last season and has appeared in both games this season on special teams. He has recently moved from the offensive line to tight end.
Brooks-Brown, a running back from Rio Linda, Calif. (Rio Linda HS), is in his first season on the team and was expecting to redshirt.
Below is a statement from Sgt. Robin Heiden of the Salt Lake Police Department.
The shooting happened just before midnight (11:53 p.m.) on Saturday night (9/12/15) at 310 S. 1300 E. This was a private party with several people in attendance.
The male suspects showed up and were asked to leave by the host of the party. They didn’t want to leave and were asked again by the two victims to leave. An altercation occurred between two victims and suspects, that is when one of the suspects pulled out a gun shot the two victims.The suspects fled the scene on foot.
The two victims were both shot in the torso area, both are stable and expected to recover. One of them is 18 years old and the other is 20.
#1 – Male black in his twenties, 6’ wearing a baseball cap with red bandanna underneath and a red t-shirt.
#2 – Male black in his twenties 5’9” with short dreadlocks wearing a baseball cap and red t-shirt.
#3 – Male white in his twenties, heavy set with facial hair.
Sources at the scene tell UteSportsReport that the suspects showed up wanting to enter the party. They were identified as 'gangsters.' A party-goer asked them to leave, stating that they didn't want any gangster stuff going on and the suspects were being loud and obnoxious. One of the suspects became upset and started making disparaging remarks about Tongans while making Bloods and Crips references. A can was thrown at the suspects who opened fire, unloaded five shots. Brooks-Brown was not involved in the altercation in any way, as we're told that he was walking to his car when this happened and was hit by an errant bullet. One party participation had basic medical training and was able to attend to both Falemaka and Brooks-Brown until ambulances arrived.