Former Portland Trail Blazers guard was shot outside of his grandmother’s house in Southern California while shielding children.
USA TODAY Sports
COMPTON, Calif. — Brandon Roy’s family members confirmed Friday the former NBA All-Star was shot outside his grandmother’s home, contradicting claims that a different man named Brandon Roy was a victim in the April 29 shooting.
A woman who identified herself as Maria and said she was a family member said, “He’s fine, he’s perfect, he’s recovering well.” A woman identified as Roy’s grandmother handed her phone to a USA TODAY Sports reporter and a woman on the other end of the line identified herself as one of Roy’s cousins. That woman said Roy was “absolutely fine.”
Roy left a nearby hospital the same day he was treated for the gunshot wound and returned to his home in Washington, according to one of the family members.
The woman who identified herself as Maria said the grandmother “doesn’t have any comment about the incident.” The woman said she had no explanation for the claims of some players from Roy’s team at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle that it was a different man named Brandon Roy, not the former Portland Trail Blazers star, who had been shot.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department is continuing its investigation into the shooting, but detectives still haven’t been able to interview the former NBA All-Star as of Friday morning.
One of the four shooting victims has a formal interview scheduled with investigators on Friday afternoon and is going to try and convince Roy to speak with detectives.
“I’m reluctant to use the word uncooperative because it may not be for nefarious reasons,” Lt. Shaun McCarthy told USA TODAY Sports. “He’s got family down here, is a high school basketball coach.”
The shooting, which McCarthy said took place at a family gathering in which Roy and the three other men were present among children and an inflatable bounce house, was believed to be gang related.
“You can’t go into a neighborhood in Compton where there’s not a gang problem,” McCarthy said. “I believe it’s gang-motivated, but … I’ve had no, at this point in the investigation, have no evidence that the victims have any gang affiliation. But we believe the suspects, and the fact that this residence was located in a gang-saturated area, (means) that we believe it has a gang-motivation by the suspects.”
McCarthy said one of the reasons Roy could be hesitant to talk with investigators is because of the gang association.
“People hear that there’s a gang nexus even though it has nothing to do with Brandon,” he said.
Roy was shot once in the upper leg, according to McCarthy, and all four men sustained non-life-threatening injuries and have since been released from the hospital. There were no suspects as of Friday morning, but McCarthy is hoping witnesses will be more forthcoming because of Roy’s profile.
“We’re hoping people come forward because he’s an off-limits celebrity,” McCarthy said. “The fact that he was, quote-unquote, a celebrity, or a famous athlete, may work in our favor down the road. I’m cautiously optimistic.”
Two players coached by Roy at Nathan Hale sent out tweets claiming it wasn’t their coach who was shot, but those tweets were later deleted. Another sent an e-mail to The Seattle Times.
“The allegations are false,” guard Kateel Barnett told The Times. “Coach Brandon Roy is fine.”
But McCarthy, who said he was told by detectives on the scene that Roy presented a Washington state license with a Seattle address, indicated that authorities are “confident” it’s the same Roy who retired for good from the NBA in 2013. Roy became the coach at Nathan Hale, USA TODAY’s No. 1 team this past season, in 2016.
USA TODAY Sports reported Tuesday night that that the ex-NBA player was shot in the leg near his grandmother’s house, and that Roy had been shielding kids from the gunmen.
“It appears that they were innocent victims at a family gathering, in a gang-infested neighborhood, and it looks like the rival gang of that area they were in took advantage of that situation,” McCarthy said.
A news release from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department listed one of the victims as a 32-year-old black male, which is consistent with Roy’s profile. The shooting occurred Saturday night when two men approached on foot and opened fire.
“Nothing was said (before the shooting),” McCarthy said. “And then they turned and ran back south on the same street.”