Drake men’s basketball player was told by coach to lie after shooting, lawsuit says

A Drake University student who was accidentally shot in the head by a men’s basketball player alleged a team coach told the player to lie to the police about the incident.

Nathaniel Miller Jr. filed the lawsuit against the university, Bulldogs player Tremell Murphy and the managers of the off-campus property near the school where the shooting happened last fall, the Des Moines Register reported. The suit alleged that a coach showed up before police officers arrived and told Murphy to deny involvement. The coach was not identified.

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The university responded to the lawsuit on Friday.

“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.

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Murphy had initially told officers that Miller had fallen on a wet floor and hit his head, according to police reports. Murphy pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of making false reports to law enforcement and discharging a firearm within city limits.

Murphy was fined, given a suspended 30-day jail sentence and placed on probation. He was also suspended from the basketball team.

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The lawsuit also alleged that proper medical care for the victim was delayed because of misdirection from witnesses. Miller had to undergo surgery and struggles with his gait and eyesight as a result of the shooting, it stated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.