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Fullerton Player Is in Serious Condition After Shooting

September 01, 1987|JIM McCURDIE | Times Staff Writer

Derek Jones, a Cal State Fullerton basketball player, was listed in serious condition Monday night after suffering from gunshot wounds Sunday night in an apparent random shooting near his Long Beach home, according to a spokesperson at St. Mary's Medical Center in Long Beach.

Jones was reportedly standing near the intersection of 17th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. at about 9 p.m. Sunday when a gunman in a car fired three shotgun blasts into a group of people, wounding two, according to Detective C.B. Pfeiffer of the Long Beach Police Department's violent crimes division.

Jones had wounds to the left side of his chest and left arm, according to a spokesperson from St. Mary's. Jones was taken to the medical center where he underwent five hours of emergency surgery that included transplanting an artery from his right leg to his left arm.

A Fullerton spokesperson said there were no injuries to Jones' vital organs, but did not give further details about the extent of the injury. Jones remained in intensive care Monday.

A second victim, Ross Flint, 20, was treated and released.

Pfeiffer said there was no apparent motive for the shooting and no suspects.

"The primary victim, Mr. Jones, was an innocent bystander," Pfeiffer said. "I would not classify it as a drive-by shooting." Pfeiffer added that he did not think the incident was gang-related.

Jones, 22, averaged 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game as a junior at Fullerton last season. He led the Titans with 22 blocked shots and made 52% of his shots from the field. The 6-foot 7-inch forward played two years at Long Beach City College and was set to transfer to Arizona until he learned he did not meet the entrance requirements there. After sitting out one year, he transferred to Fullerton.

"I am shocked by this senseless attack," George McQuarn, Titan coach, said in a prepared statement. "This was a very unfortunate situation in which the young man was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, my main concern is with Derek's health, and we will all be praying for him."

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