DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Drake University student who was accidentally shot in the head by a basketball player alleges in a lawsuit that a coach instructed the player to lie to police.
Nathaniel Miller Jr. filed the lawsuit this week against the university, Bulldogs forward Tremell Murphy and the managers of the off-campus property near the university where the shooting happened during a party last August, the Des Moines Register reported.
It alleges that an unidentified coach showed up before officers arrived and told Murphy to deny any involvement.
The university disputed the lawsuit’s claims in a statement 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.
Murphy initially told officers that Miller Jr., a Texas resident who was 19 at the time of the shooting, 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. He was fined, given a suspended 30-day jail sentence and placed on probation. The senior forward was also suspended from the basketball team for five games following the charges.
Proper medical care for the victim was delayed because of the misdirection from witnesses, according to the lawsuit. Miller Jr. had to undergo surgery and struggles with his gait and eyesight as a result of the shooting, it states.