The captain of Hampton University’s basketball team was accidentally shot and killed Monday outside a local nightclub.
Theo Smalling was inside a car in the parking lot of Fusions Nightclub with Dominique Devon Smith, 21, when the incident occurred, according to Hampton Police. Smith allegedly "mishandled a firearm and accidentally shot" Smalling in the abdomen early Saturday, a day after his 22nd birthday, police said.
Smalling was picked up by an ambulance after police got a call following the shooting. He died at about 8:40 p.m., according to Hampton officials, who called the shooting a "senseless accident."
Officials at the historically Black college in Virginia are hailing Smalling, a 22-year-old senior majoring in sports management, as a wonderful athlete and outstanding young man.
"This is a devastating loss for our community," said Hampton coach Edward Buck Joyner. "He was a great young man who was an asset to Hampton University on and off the court. Not only was he the captain and leader of our team, but the backbone of our team. He will be with us in our hearts and minds when we step on the court."
Smalling, who was slated to graduate in the spring of 2010, played in 91 games (76 starts) for the Pirates. He averaged a team-leading 5.3 rebounds per game last season. Smalling averaged 3.3 points and 5.2 boards per contest over his college career.
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