“It is with deep sadness that the Pelicans organization acknowledges the sudden passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones,” the Pelicans said in a statement. “We are devastated at the loss of this young man’s life who had such a promising future ahead of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s family during this difficult time.”
Dejean-Jones’ agent, Scott Nichols, said his client died of a gunshot to the abdomen.
According to Dallas police, officers responded to a call about a shooting at an apartment at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday morning. The resident of the apartment said an individual had kicked open his front door and entered his apartment.
The resident, who had been asleep, retrieved a handgun and called out to the individual, but did not receive an answer. The individual kicked the bedroom door and the resident fired his gun at the individual, who left the apartment and collapsed in the breezeway. The individual was transported to the hospital, where he died. Police at that point identified him as Dejean-Jones.
Dallas police told ESPN it does not appear that DeJean-Jones and the resident of the apartment knew each other previously. Sources told ESPN that Dejean-Jones was in town to celebrate his daughter’s birthday and was involved in an argument with the child’s mother prior to the shooting.
Dejean-Jones, 23, signed a three-year contract with the Pelicans in February after joining the team on consecutive 10-day contracts. He started 11 of 14 games before undergoing surgery for a broken right wrist and missing the rest of the season.
Dejean-Jones, a native of Los Angeles, averaged 5.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.9 minutes over the 14 games last season.
“Bryce overcame a lot of obstacles to get to this point in his career,” Nichols told ESPN’s Justin Verrier. “He was a joy to be around, a talent just turning the corner in his career.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed his condolences in a statement later Saturday.
“The NBA family mourns the tragic loss of New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones,” he said. “Bryce inspired countless people with his hard work and perseverance on his journey to the NBA, and he had a bright future in our league. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Bryce’s family and the entire Pelicans organization during this difficult time.”
Dejean-Jones played college ball at USC, UNLV and Iowa State before going undrafted in 2015. He played the 2014-15 season for Iowa State after graduating from UNLV.
“We are deeply saddened to learn the tragic news about Bryce,” former Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I’m grateful that our paths crossed in this life. Bryce was a passionate and talented player that lived out his dream of playing in the NBA through hard work and perseverance. It’s an incredibly sad day for me and all of Iowa State University. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s family.”
Information from ESPN’s Justin Verrier and The Undefeated’s Marc Spears was included in this report.