Washburn football player Dwane Simmons was killed in a shooting early Sunday morning in Topeka. Washburn University confirmed that Simmons, a junior from Lee’s Summit, MO, died while Corey Ballentine, who was selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, suffered a non-life threatening injury and is expected to fully recover.
Washburn head football coach Craig Schurig said, “Heartbreaking news about Dwane Simmons. Dwane is one of the most energetic and well-liked players I have ever coached at Washburn. Dwane’s infectious smile and love for football and his teammates was truly inspirational. Our prayers of healing go out to his family, his parents Navarro and Yasmine Simmons and Chaquilla Williams.”
The New York Giants released a statement on Sunday saying, “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.”
Washburn University president Dr. Jerry Farley released a letter to the university saying,
“To the campus community:
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. 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.
While we extend our deepest sympathies to Dwane’s family, we also want to make sure that the campus community knows that we have counseling resources available. We will have counselors on campus today and the counseling help line — 785-670-3100 — is available 24 hours a day.
Please take advantage of these services as we keep both Dwane and Corey and their families in our thoughts and prayers.
Dr. Jerry Farley, president”
According to police, officers responded to reports of gunshots in the 1400 block of 13th Street, where they found Simmons suffering from a gunshot wound on the street.
The investigation is ongoing, and if you have any information, you’re asked to contact the Topeka Police Criminal Investigation Bureau at (785) 368-9400 or Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at (785) 234-0007. You can also make anonymous tips online HERE.