College basketball player Darius Lee killed, 8 hurt in Harlem shooting

NEW YORK — A shooting early Monday in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood claimed the life of a college basketball star and left eight others injured, officials said.

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Update 3:10 p.m. EDT June 20: The person killed in Monday’s shooting has been identified as Houston Baptist University basketball player Darius Lee, KTRK reported.

School officials said Lee was set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in December. He had recently been named HBU Robbie Robertson Male Student-Athlete of the Year.

In a statement, HBU’s head basketball coach, Ron Cottrell, said the team was “devastated.”

“Darius was a remarkable young man who loved the Lord, his mom, his family, his teammates, his friends and his entire HBU family,” he said. “We are in shock and cannot wrap our heads around this news. My heart breaks for his mom, his sister and his entire family, and for our basketball team.”

Cottrell remembered Lee as “a great basketball player” and “an even better person.”

“I can’t even think of basketball right now,” he said. “I can only think of what a light Darius was during his short time on earth. He was a joy to coach and we loved him so much.”

Steve Moniaci, HBU’s director of athletics, called Lee “a very fine man who had a very bright future in front of him both on and off the court.”

“This is unfortunately, yet again, another example of the senseless gun violence that seems to be plaguing our country right now and we all pray it will cease,” he said.

Original report: According to WNBC-TV and WABC-TV, New York police said the incident occurred shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday near Fifth Avenue and East 139th Street. Police arrived to find five people on a footpath who had suffered gunshot wounds, the news outlets reported.

Crews rushed the five people to a nearby hospital, police said. Four other victims also sought treatment at Harlem Hospital, WABC reported.

One of the wounded, identified only as a 21-year-old man, died at Lincoln Hospital, according to WABC. Police said the other patients, which include six men and two women, are expected to recover from their injuries, WNBC reported.

It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the shooting, which occurred during what investigators believe was a barbecue or similar gathering, according to the news outlets.

Investigators have recovered one gun, police said. Authorities have not released any details about possible suspects, WNBC reported.