Shots Fired At Pacers Guard Jamaal Tinsley
The latest pro athlete target
I guess professional athletes aren’t being targeted Jason. What planet are you on? Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about this. Jamaal Tinsley is the latest athlete to have his well being put in danger. This is getting ridiculous. It’s time for athletes to seriously think about taking the necessary security measures.
Jamaal Tinsley of the Pacers and several companions were shot at by someone with an assault rifle outside the Conrad Hotel in Downtown Indianapolis early today, and a friend of Tinsley’s was wounded.
Police were called to the hotel at about 3:40 a.m. after Pacers equipment manager Joey Qatato, 48, was struck in both elbows as he sat in the back seat of Tinsley’s Rolls Royce. Tinsley, 29, was in the front passenger seat.
An official at Methodist Hospital said Qatato was treated and released before noon.
Sgt. Paul Thompson, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said that after the shooting at the Conrad, 50 W. Washington St, two of the three vehicles in Tinsley’s group followed the shooters in a chase to Monument Circle, two blocks away.
Tinsley’s brother, James, fired a weapon during that chase, but it was unknown whether anyone was hit. Jamaal Tinsley was not involved in the chase, Thompson said.
Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said Tinsley was excused from practice today “because he went through a traumatic experience last night and we wanted him to get away from basketball for the day.”
A meeting with Tinsley is scheduled for tomorrow, the coach said.
O’Brien said he was relieved that nobody was killed in the incident, but that being out that late was the “wrong decision.”
“I would think as we all suspect, nothing good happens after 1 o’clock if you’re around alcohol or around an environment where there could be weapons. Nothing good can happen in that situation.”
The Pacers played Friday and had Saturday off. The team has no curfew, though practice was set for 11 a.m. today.
Thompson said the incident began at a club called Cloud 9 on West 38th Street.
A group was giving members of Tinsley’s crew a hard time about the expensive cars they were driving – a Mercedes, Rolls Royce and Dodge Charger – and the amount of money they made.
Tinsley and at least seven others were riding in the three cars, according to the written report of the incident.
Tinsley’s group left the club but realized that they were being followed by a gray Chrysler and a dark pickup truck, Thompson said, so they pulled into the Conrad instead of going to Tinsley’s downtown condo, where they were headed.
The shooting began after they reached the hotel, Thompson said.
Conrad’s General Manager, Greg Tinsley, who is not related to Jamaal, said the player’s group had no connection to the hotel but likely sought it out as a refuge from the confrontation.
“It makes sense that they would stop in a public place open 24 hours a day and where there are people to help,” Tinsley said.
No employees witnessed the shooting, but a few were on duty inside the lobby while it occurred. Tinsley said Qatato went inside the hotel to ask for help after he was shot, and the employees called emergency medical services and police to the scene.
Conrad employees who assisted Qatato were not allowed to comment on the incident as part of the policy of Hilton Hotels, which owns the Conrad.
Tinsley’s Rolls Royce was struck by at least three bullets, including one in the windshield and two in the driver’s door window. The Charger also was struck and was found to have five bullet holes, Thompson said.
Police say the rounds came from a .223 caliber assault rifle. Thompson said it was not unusual to see such a weapon used in street violence.
Only one person was arrested on the scene – Antoine Toon, 31, a member of the Tinsley group who was wanted on an unrelated Georgia warrant for dealing a controlled substance.
Thompson said the detective working on the case had not determined if anyone else in Tinsley’s entourage will face charges.
James Tinsley, who returned fire at the shooters during the chase, has a gun permit.
Thompson said this afternoon that police had no suspects but were looking for the two vehicles driven by the attackers.
Tinsley is scheduled to stand trial next month in a separate incident. He and teammate Marquis Daniels are due in court Jan. 14 on charges stemming from a bar fight at the 8 Seconds Saloon.
A grand jury indicted Tinsley on a felony charge of intimidation, and misdemeanor counts of battery, disorderly conduct and intimidation from the Feb. 6 incident. Daniels is charged with battery and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.
Pacers beat writer Mike Wells contributed to this report.