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Two Men Linked to Duquesne Shooting

An 18-year-old faces five counts of attempted homicide and a second man is still being sought.

September 20, 2006|From the Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Prosecutors charged one man, and another was being sought by police in the shooting of five Duquesne University basketball players after a school dance.

Authorities also accused a 19-year-old sophomore of helping get the men and their friends into the dance despite knowing some were armed.

Brandon Baynes, 18, was arraigned on five counts of criminal attempt at homicide. Prosecutors also filed charges of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and weapons counts against him, and were seeking William Holmes, 18, on suspicion of reckless endangerment.

Three players remained hospitalized following Sunday's shootings after the dance. The most seriously wounded, junior forward Sam Ashaolu, 23, was in critical condition with bullet fragments in his head.

Brittany Jones, accused of helping get some young men with guns into the party, was arrested Monday on suspicion of reckless endangerment, carrying a firearm without a license and criminal conspiracy. She was arraigned and posted bond Tuesday morning.

According to the criminal complaint, Jones -- who is active with the Black Student Union, which sponsored the dance -- got a call from a man asking whether he and his brother could attend. They arrived with four others, including Baynes and Holmes, about midnight, according to police.

While walking to the party, Jones told police, she became aware that several of the men had guns, authorities said.

They asked Jones whether they were going to be "patted down" before entering, officials said. The doorman reportedly told Jones that partygoers weren't being searched, and the men entered, police said.

According to the criminal complaint against Baynes, a witness at the dance reported hearing an argument and saw two men firing guns at the victims. Using driver's license photos, the witness identified one man as Baynes.

Baynes did not speak during the brief court hearing. His father said the teen was not guilty.

"My son never fired a gun in his life," A.J. Baynes said. He said his son knew Holmes, but he would not discuss what his son told him about the shooting.

Sumner Parker, an attorney representing Baynes, denied his client was the gunman but said Baynes had identified the shooter in a statement to police. Parker said Baynes had gone to the dance with three friends, none of them part of the group believed to be involved in the shooting.

In interviews Monday with the Associated Press, several players said the shooter was a non-student who was unhappy that the woman he accompanied had talked with a player. The shooter and at least one other man followed the players when they left the dance to walk to their dormitory, they said.

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