Drake student sues school, alleges basketball coach told player to lie after shooting him in head

A Drake University student filed a lawsuit this month alleging that an unidentified men’s basketball coach at the school told a player who shot him in the head to lie to responding police officers, according to the Des Moines Register.

Drake forward Tremell Murphy accidentally shot Nathaniel Miller Jr. in the head during a party at his home near campus on Aug. 31, 2019. The gun was Murphy’s, which he had legally obtained.

After the shooting but before officers arrived, per the report, a Drake basketball coach allegedly showed up at the house. The coach then allegedly told Murphy to deny any involvement. Murphy then told officers that Miller had fallen on a wet floor and hit his head.

He was charged with making false reports to the police and discharging a firearm within city limits, both misdemeanors in Iowa. Murphy pled guilty to both accounts, according to the Des Moines Register, and was fined, placed on probation and given a suspended 30-day jail sentence. 

Miller is suing the university, Murphy and the investment group that manages the property where the shooting took place. He alleged that proper medical care was delayed because of the initial false report. He had to undergo surgery, and now struggles with gait and eyesight as a result, per the lawsuit. 

The university denied the allegations in the lawsuit. Drake head coach Darian DeVries did not respond to the Des Moines Register for comment, though he is not named in the lawsuit. 

“It is not true as claimed by the plaintiff that a Drake men’s basketball coach told Mr. Murphy to deny involvement in Mr. Miller’s injuries,” the school said in a statement, via the Des Moines Register. “Additionally, the residence in which the shooting incident took place is a private residence and is not owned or otherwise affiliated with the university.”

Murphy played in just five games for the Bulldogs last year after suffering a season-ending knee injury in their game against Southeast Missouri State on Dec. 7. He averaged 10.4 points and 6.2 rebounds while starting all but one contest in his freshman season.

Drake forward Tremell Murphy accidentally shot another student in the head at a party last year, and initially told police he slipped and fell on a wet floor. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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