Baseball players Tim Williams and Darren Sugiyama of Loyola Marymount were injured Saturday night in a drive-by shooting incident. The two, along with teammate Todd Gates, were driving west on Manchester Avenue from the Westchester campus toward Williams' apartment in Playa del Rey shortly before midnight.
Williams said a car began tailgating them, and when Sugiyama changed lanes to let the car pass, it pulled alongside the passenger side and a shotgun blast was fired into a side window.
None of the players were hit by the pellets. Williams, a senior all-conference outfielder and one of the team's top pro prospects, was in the back seat and was struck by glass from an exploding window. He suffered serious injury to his right eye and needed emergency surgery to remove shattered glass. The right lens of his eye also was removed, but can be replaced as an implant after some healing.
Sugiyama, a sophomore infielder from Long Beach, suffered cuts around the neck.
Gates, a sophomore outfielder from Framingham, Mass., was not injured and was able to get to a phone and call for help quickly. The players were taken to nearby Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital, where Williams had surgery at 3:30 a.m.
The shooting is being investigated by police, but there are few leads. Williams described the assailants as three white males and a white female in a blue Blazer or Bronco.
Williams, an Inglewood resident who was a CIF player of the year at Playa del Rey St. Bernard High School, was released from the hospital Tuesday. A CAT scan revealed no glass remaining after surgery. He said he hopes to return to classes next week, but he will probably miss fall baseball practice.
"Things are blurry but clearing up," Williams said Wednesday.