U football player killed after Minneapolis shooting

Brandon Hall, a University football player, was fatally shot Sunday in the early morning hours at the corner of 3rd Street and Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

The 19-year-old redshirt freshman died at 2:54 a.m. in the emergency room at Hennepin County Medical Center, hours after playing in his first college football game.

Word quickly spread through the program, and coach Glen Mason announced Hall’s death at a news conference Sunday.

“Our prayers go out to Brandon and his family,” Mason said. “Our immediate concern is with supporting Brandon’s family, his teammates and his many friends.”

Officers found a handgun and arrested three men immediately following the shooting.

Lee Cain Jr., a University Facilities Management employee, Raymond Hardimon and Jermaine Stansberry were arrested after witnesses at the scene described the white van the three fled in after the shooting. According to police documents released, officers found the handgun during the arrest and the suspects’ vehicle has been impounded.

All three men have several aliases and extensive criminal backgrounds, according to the police documents. Stansberry was arrested for murder in 1995 but never charged. Cain and Hardimon both have multiple arrests.

“The football players were all there and were able to give our officers very good physical descriptions, clothing, as well as the van which allowed our officers to move in and make an immediate arrest,” said Cyndi Barrington, a Minneapolis Police Department spokeswoman.

According to Barrington, the shooting was related to a robbery shortly before.

Damian Haye, a Gophers redshirt freshman defensive lineman, was allegedly robbed of a gold chain and assaulted outside of South Beach Restaurant and Night Club in the Minneapolis warehouse district.

Haye then allegedly gathered some of his teammates, including Hall, to find the perpetrators.

The group found the three men near the corner of 3rd Street and Hennepin Avenue, authorities said. As the group approached the three men, one of the men retrieved a gun from a nearby van.

The group of football players began to flee, Barrington said, but Hall turned and walked toward the gunman, stating he was not with the group. The gunman then shot Hall in the upper torso, she said.

The incident, from the robbery to the shooting, lasted approximately 15 minutes, Barrington said.

Bill Kummer, 53, a resident at Archie Givens Atrium, which is located across the street from where Hall was fatally shot, said he witnessed the scene from his ninth story apartment just after the shooting.

“I heard the shot,” Kummer said. “I looked out my window and saw a man lying by the fire hydrant, half on the sidewalk and half in the street.”

Kummer said another man was leaning over Hall, holding up his head while apparently trying to comfort him.

Onlookers quickly gathered near the scene, Kummer said, while the people who were with Hall seemed on the verge of hysteria.

Kummer said he was going to call 911, but four or five squad cars arrived on the scene almost immediately.

Barrington said officers half a block away heard a gunshot and rushed to the scene.

One officer began performing CPR on Hall, but looked discouraged and was shaking his head, Kummer said.

Shortly after, Hall was taken away by ambulance.

Hall grew up in Detroit and graduated from Finney High School. He was a premajor in business.

The freshman defensive tackle played in his first collegiate game Saturday and recorded one tackle.

Mason canceled Sunday’s afternoon practice and said he was unsure when the Gophers would return to their normal schedule. Minnesota is scheduled to travel to Louisiana-Lafayette for a game Saturday.

“It’s about the little things,” Athletics Director Joel Maturi said. “We need to be sensitive right now. We will go back to practice; the question is when is the right time. Should there be a funeral service here? Who will travel to Detroit? It is all the things we have to do now and we have not been taught to deal with this.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

Brian Hall welcomes comments at [email protected]. Anthony Maggio welcomes comments at [email protected]