Recently drafted New York Giants cornerback Corey Ballentine remains hospitalized after sustaining a single gunshot wound to his glutes, according to the school. The hope is that he will be released in the next day or so.
Washburn football player Dwane Simmons was killed in the early Sunday morning incident. Ballentine was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle with a non-life-threatening injury, according to police.
The school plans to hold a vigil Tuesday night for Simmons.
Ballentine was the Giants’ sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft on Saturday. He put out messages Monday on social media.
God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. I love you forever. Thank you for being a true friend who uplifted me, corrected me when i was in the wrong, and accepted my flaws. Thank you for being a brother to me. Thank you for letting me experience your life💛 pic.twitter.com/SfqX9v6qgY
— Corey Ballentine🇯🇲 (@cbxiii__) April 29, 2019
A preliminary investigation determined that the shooting occurred during a social gathering outside a residence, Topeka police spokeswoman Gretchen Koenen said in an email Sunday evening. She said dozens of people were at the gathering, and police were working to gather evidence and witness statements.
“We want to emphasize that we need those who were present to let us know what they saw,” Koenen said. Topeka police did not have an update on the active homicide as of Monday afternoon.
Simmons, a defensive back who was entering his senior season in 2019, played in 22 games in three seasons at Washburn.
“Heartbreaking news about Dwane Simmons,” Washburn coach Craig Schurig said in a statement. “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.”
Ballentine, a cornerback, was the 2018 Cliff Harris Award winner as the small-college defensive player of the year and was one of three Division II players selected to the Senior Bowl. The 23-year-old ran a 4.47 40 at the NFL scouting combine and was selected in the sixth round; he was the last of three cornerbacks drafted by the Giants.
The Giants said they are aware of the situation and have spoken with Ballentine. A decision has not yet been made on whether he will attend a rookie minicamp this weekend.
“Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons’ family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community,” the Giants said in a statement released Sunday.