Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine injured in shooting; college teammate killed

Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine injured in shooting; college teammate killed

Giants sixth-round draft pick Corey Ballentine was injured in a shooting, while his former Washburn University teammate Dwane Simmons, 23, was killed.

The shooting happened overnight in central Topeka, Kansas, according to WIBW 13. Police officers say they responded to reports of gunfire around 12:45 a.m local time. Police told WIBW 13 that Simmons died in the street from a gunshot wound.

Ballentine, 23, was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Washburn president Jerry Farley confirmed the news in a letter to the school Sunday.

“We come to you this morning with sad and difficult news. Early this morning two of our students were the victims of an off-campus shooting,” Farley wrote. “Dwane Simmons, a junior and a member of the football team, was killed in the incident. In addition, Corey Ballentine, a senior, was injured. Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery.

“Any time we lose a student it is a sad occasion, but it is 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. 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.”

The Giants also released a statement Sunday: “We are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information. We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons’ family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community.”

Officials are still investigating the shooting.

The Giants selected cornerback Ballentine with the 180th pick of this year’s draft. He called the moment “surreal” earlier Saturday after he received the call from the Giants.

“I’m sure you have heard it a lot, but this is something I have always dreamed of,”  Ballentine said (via the New York Post). “It took me back to the moment when I got recruited to college and I told my coaches this is something I wanted to do, I wanted to go to the NFL. We were all kind of giggling and here the moment is, I’m getting the call from the New York Giants. It’s just surreal because I didn’t know how I was going to do it, I know I wanted to do it, I just didn’t know how.

“Now that the moment is here, I’m trying to soak it in really.”