Giants draft pick injured, Washburn University football player killed in shooting

The university said it "was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration" for both football players.

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By Janelle Griffith

A Washburn University football player was killed and his former teammate who was drafted by the New York Giants was wounded in an off-campus shooting early Sunday in Topeka, Kansas, according to the university.

Dwane Simmons, 23, a junior, was killed in the incident, and Corey Ballentine, 23, a senior and sixth-round NFL pick, was injured, according to a statement from Washburn University president Jerry Farley.

Dwane Simmons, a Washburn University football player, was fatally shot on April 28, 2019.Washburn University

Officers responded around 12:45 a.m. to reports of gunfire in central Topeka, about four blocks from the university, and found Simmons dead in the street, a spokesman for the Topeka Police Department told NBC News.

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Ballentine, who was drafted by the Giants on Saturday, arrived at an area hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound from the same incident, police said.

The university president said it was "particularly poignant to lose a student through such a senseless act."

"Both Dwane and Corey have been great examples and representatives of the football team and of Washburn University in general," Farley said. "This was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration and a day to look forward to Dwane’s upcoming year at Washburn and the beginning of Corey’s professional career."

Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery, Farley said.

The Giants said it was aware of "the tragic situation and continue to gather information."

"We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital," the team said. "Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons’ family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community."