LSU basketball player Wayde Sims killed in shooting near Southern University
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU basketball player Wayde Sims, 20, was killed in an early morning shooting Friday near Southern University, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Detectives are investigating the homicide, which happened in the 600 block of Harding Boulevard around 12:25 a.m. on Friday, September 28. This is located across the street from Mumford Stadium and the tennis courts.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office released their preliminary findings Friday evening. The report says the preliminary cause of death is a gunshot wound to the head into the neck.
A vigil for Sims is planned for Saturday, September 29 at 4 p.m. at Tony Clayton Championship Plaza on Southern University’s campus. The vigil is organized by 771 Alliance of Southern University, Students Demand Action, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and the Zeta Phi Beta sorority.
LSU announced they will honor Sims with a candlelight vigil planned for Tuesday, October 2, in front of the Maravich Center. The vigil will begin at 8 p.m.
Funeral services are set for Saturday, October 6, at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, according to The Advocate. Visitation will start at 9 a.m., with services beginning at noon.
Police say Sims, a junior attending LSU with a forward position on the team, was transported to a local hospital with an apparent gunshot wound. Police say Sims died due to the injury.
A video circulating social media appears to show the moments before Sims was shot. In the video, a group of unidentified males appear to be in a scuffle and a gunshot can be heard near the end of the video.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at 225-389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.
In his sophomore season, Sims played 32 games with 10 starts and was the 2014-15 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year.
Sims was a First Team All-State selection, earning five letters at University High School in Baton Rouge, where he won three state titles under Head Coach Joe Spencer.
His father, Wayne Sims, played basketball at LSU under Dale Brown.
Just before 8 a.m., LSU basketball head coach, Will Wade, provided a statement on Sim’s passing.
“We are all devastated. We need your prayers for Wayde, for his family, for all of us. We are heartbroken.”
Wade told reporters during a news conference Friday morning that he informed the LSU men’s basketball team of Sims' death hours earlier during a team meeting.
“He was a blast to be around at all times. We’re devastated and in shock. We’re going to support Wayde’s family and our guys.”
LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva says the news of Sims' death marked the saddest day in his 40-year career in collegiate athletics.
Alleva says the death of a player is a “coach’s worst nightmare."
LSU officials said they were notified about Sim’s death Friday morning, and the university has provided counselors and support to teammates and friends at LSU.
“Wayde Sims’ loss is simply unbelievable to us right now,” Alleva said in a release from the university.
“There are no words that can express our sorrow for his parents and family. He was such a lovable young man who was full of joy. We are circling around his teammates and friends who need all the love and support we can give them. We are praying for his family, for his parents. God bless Wayde Sims.”
“We are stunned and shaken. To say we are grief-stricken is an understatement. Wayde was a beloved member of the LSU community whose leadership was treasured by his coach and his teammates. I knew him personally and liked him tremendously. The void left by his passing will be immense, and we ask that you keep his family in your prayers.”
The president of the Southern University released a statement Friday morning about Sims' death.
“On behalf of the entire Southern University community, we express our sincerest condolences to Wayde Sims' family, teammates, fellow students and the LSU community. “It is always a tragedy for our entire area when there is a loss of life.”
I am deeply saddened and devastated about the tragic death of Wayde Sims. On behalf of the Southern University Athletic Department and the Southern University basketball family, I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the Sims family, his mother, Fay, his father, Wayne, and the LSU basketball family.
Teams from across the nation are sending their condolences, including Kentucky Basketball and Southeastern.
Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise has also commented on the shooting.
Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.