LSU sophomore running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and freshman walk-on linebacker Jared Small are believed to have acted in self-defense when one of the players shot and killed a man on Saturday, Baton Rouge police said Sunday.
Nov 17, 2018; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) runs against Rice Owls defensive lineman Parker Hanusa (93) at Tiger Stadium. Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
The two players were trying to sell an electronic item when the man, identified as Kobe Johnson, pulled out a weapon and demanded the players’ belongings. One of the players, carrying a concealed handgun, shot Johnson multiple times before calling 911 and waiting at the scene for officers to arrive.
Questioning of the players lasted several hours, police said.
“We believe this is an act of self-defense, and the evidence will show that,” said Christopher Murell, one of the three attorneys representing Edwards-Helaire and Small.
A police spokesperson said two guns were recovered from the scene.
“We have today been in constant contact with law enforcement regarding this terrible situation. Right now, our concern is for the safety and well-being of our student-athletes,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said in a statement.
The incident remains under investigation but the players were released after questioning Saturday. Police said Johnson was found dead in the back seat of a white truck. Both players had been in the truck, police said.
The circumstances of the meeting and whether there was an established relationship with the victim are questions police did not answer due to the open investigation. Both players are graduates of a local high school.
The status of both players for the New Year’s Day Fiesta Bowl game against Central Florida has not been determined.
Edwards-Helaire is LSU’s second-leading rusher with 626 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018.
—Field Level Media