Vanderbilt Football Players Pulled Pellet Gun On Some Thieves, Got Shot With Real Guns


On the one hand, you gotta hand it to the Vanderbilt football players involved in this case of a stolen phone that turned into a shooting. They not only managed to track down some alleged thieves, induce a meeting with those alleged thieves, and confront those alleged thieves, but they apparently managed to do that without breaking any laws.

On the other hand, two of them got shot in the process.

The Nashville Tennessean has the details.

The shooting, which took place at the store at on White Bridge Road, stemmed from an arranged meeting between two groups — a trio of football players and the thieves who Metro police say stole the phone and fired the shots.

Both groups brought weapons, police said, although one side — the players — had only a pellet gun.

As of Tuesday, the shooting suspects remained at large and both injured players were expected to recover, police spokesman Don Aaron said.

What happened here, according to the players as documented in a police report, was that wide receiver Donaven Tennyson put up his iPhone 6S for sale on the internet, and when he met the prospective buyer, got his phone stolen. Unfortunate, but not uncommon.

Because electronics thievery is not the most sophisticated criminal enterprise, Tennyson pretty much immediately found his phone offered for sale on the Internet and arranged a meeting with the alleged thieves/new sellers to recover his property. For this mission he enlisted the help of two teammates, O’montae Daley and Frank Coppet, plus a pellet gun one of the players told police they expected would, “help get the phone back.”

When Coppet got out of Tennyson’s car holding the pellet gun, the suspects in the other car started shooting with a handgun and a shotgun. Coppet and Daley were both hit, but according to Vanderbilt their injuries are not life threatening.

That’s what it says in the police report, anyway.

None of the Vanderbilt players are charged with a crime because, in case this isn’t obvious, brandishing a pellet gun isn’t illegal.

There are plenty of ways in which this whole affair could have gone a lot better, plenty in which it could have gone a lot worse, and more than a couple lessons to be learned by us all.