Washburn cornerback Corey Ballentine experienced one of the greatest highs of his life on Saturday night after being selected by the New York Giants at No. 180 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, but that all fell apart on Sunday morning.
Ballentine, 23, was injured in an off-campus shooting on Sunday morning that claimed the life of his former college teammate and close friend, Dwane Simmons.
“We are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information. We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons’ family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community,” the Giants said in an official statement.
Topeka Police have confirmed that Ballentine was among the shooting victims, but say his injuries are “not life-threatening” and that he is expected to make a full recovery.
Washburn University released the following statement:
To the campus community:
We come to you this morning with sad and difficult news. Early this morning two of our students were the victims of an off-campus shooting. Dwane Simmons, a junior and a member of the football team, was killed in the incident. In addition, Corey Ballentine, a senior, was injured. Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery.
Any time we lose a student it is a sad occasion, but it is particularly poignant to lose a student through such a senseless act. Both Dwane and Corey have been great examples and representatives of the football team and of Washburn University in general. This was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration and a day to look forward to Dwane’s upcoming year at Washburn and the beginning of Corey’s professional career.
While we extend our deepest sympathies to Dwane’s family, we also want to make sure that the campus community knows that we have counseling resources available. We will have counselors on campus today and the counseling help line — 785-670-3100 — is available 24 hours a day.
Please take advantage of these services as we keep both Dwane and Corey and their families in our thoughts and prayers.
An investigation into the shooting remains open and the Topeka Police Criminal Investigation Bureau requests that anyone with information call 785-368-9400 or the Shawnee Co. Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007. Anonymous tips can also be shared online.