Mercer senior Jibri Bryan was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a convenience store in Macon, Georgia, according to local police.
“Tonight the Mercer community is grieving the tragic death of graduate student Jibri Bryan, who has been part of the University family for six years,” Mercer University President William D. Underwood said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bryan family.”
According to the Macon Telegraph, Bryan was killed in a busy area of downtown Macon around 4 p.m. Police said Bryan was killed from a gunshot to the head.
“First and foremost, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Bryans,” Mercer athletic director Jim Cole said. “The Mercer athletic family is deeply saddened by Jibri’s passing. Jibri was always cheerful and greeted everyone in the department with a smile. He will not only be missed by his basketball family but by all of us in the university athletic department.”
More details from the tragic scene, via the Telegraph:
He was found in the driver’s seat of a late-model Chevy Monte Carlo that was backed into a space beside the store, Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said. The shooting’s circumstances were not immediately clear, but authorities said the episode was recorded by security cameras at the Flash Foods store where it happened.
Davis said the other person who was shot arrived at the scene riding in a white Nissan Sentra driven by the shooter. When the Sentra parked, the man stepped out and circled behind the Monte Carlo. Then the gunman, who had walked over to talk to Bryan, opened fire, killing him, Davis said. The man who’d been riding with the gunman, standing near the back of the Monte Carlo, was in the line of fire and was possibly shot by his partner in crime, the sheriff said. Investigators said the wounded man was shot in his chest or neck. He was taken to a nearby hospital.
Motive for the shooting remains unclear. Police told the Telegraph that a pistol was found behind the convenience store.
Bryan grew up in Savannah and was a member of the Mercer team that famously upset Duke as a No. 14 seed in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Bryan missed 10 games this season due to lingering knee issues, but he returned to the court last week.
Checking in for Mercer is Jibri Bryan, the 6th year SR who has missed the last 10 games due to injury. #WelcomeBack
— Mercer Basketball (@MercerMBB) January 29, 2016
He also logged one minute in Mercer’s 85-70 win on Monday night at Samford.
“Jibri Bryan was a special young man who was a great contributor to our team and did everything that was asked of him,” Mercer coach Bob Hoffman said. “He was important to us in every way. I loved him and cared about him from the very first time he was on our campus. We grew to be very close over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his special family.”