NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two Vanderbilt football players were shot in what police are calling an “ill-conceived plan” to recover a teammate’s stolen cellphone.
Tae Daley, 18, suffered a noncritical gunshot wound to his leg, and Frank Coppet, 18, received noncritical birdshot wounds to his arms, Nashville police said Tuesday in a statement. Detectives were working to identify and arrest the shooters.
According to police, 19-year-old Donaven Tennyson had offered his phone for sale on an internet site and met with a prospective buyer at a Chili’s parking lot at 5 p.m. Monday. Tennyson told police his phone was stolen during the meeting and later that night was offered for sale on the same internet site.
Tennyson said he arranged a meeting with the seller in a Target parking lot and arrived with Daley and Coppet. Police said the three players brought a pellet pistol, which one of them said was “to help get the phone back.”
Police said Coppet got out of Daley’s Toyota with the pellet pistol in his hand when a man who pulled up next to them in a Buick got out and shot at the three players with an actual pistol. Police said another man in the Buick fired a shotgun at them.
Police said one gunman fled in the Buick and another left in the Toyota after the shots were fired. They did not say if or when Daley and Tennyson got out of the Toyota.
Daley is a freshman from Warner Robins, Georgia. Coppet is a redshirt freshman from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Both are defensive backs.
Tennyson, a sophomore receiver from Richmond, Virginia, played eight games last season. He didn’t catch a pass but had four carries for 28 yards.
“Our foremost concern is the well-being of our students, but it appears their injuries are not life-threatening,” Vanderbilt said in a statement. “The university is monitoring the situation and will determine if any action on the part of the university is appropriate.”