College football player dead, four others injured in shooting

Sunday, January 27th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) _ A college football player was killed and four students were wounded in a shootout outside a Catawba College residence, police said Saturday.

Darris Morris, 21, of Batesburg, S.C., died Friday night. He was a two-time, all-conference linebacker in the South Atlantic Conference.

The shooting was sparked by an argument between students at Catawba and Livingstone College at a campus party. The argument continued outside and at least one Livingstone student pulled a gun from a parked car and begin firing, Salisbury Police Deputy Chief Mark Wilhelm said in a statement.

Four other students _ two from Catawba and two from Livingstone College _ were wounded in what then turned into a shootout with a Catawba security officer.

Demetrius Phipps, 19, a sophomore on Catawba's basketball team from Newport News, Va., was treated for gunshot wounds in the hand and leg. Bradley McCrary, 20, a Catawba wide receiver from Lexington, N.C., was hospitalized with a shot in the leg.

Two Livingstone students were treated for minor head injuries and released from a hospital.

Six Livingstone students were charged with murder in Morris' death.

They are: Ricardo Battle, 19, of Stone Mountain, Ga.; Terrence Austin, 19, of Atlanta; Morris Lee Brannon, 20, of Des Moines, Iowa; Karl Anthony Wilson, 19, Atlanta; Corey Peterson of Salisbury; and Isaac Lamon Brazeal, 19, of Battleboro. All were in a detention center with no bond allowed, said Wilhelm.

Battle, led away from the magistrate's office to the jail Saturday, denied shooting anyone.

``I got shot in the head for doing nothing,'' he said.

The other five students did not comment after their court appearance Saturday.

Catawba canceled a basketball game on Saturday. A memorial service was scheduled for Sunday on the Catawba campus.

``I've been here for 18 years and this is the darkest day that I've seen at Catawba,'' school athletic director Dennis Davidson said.

Officials of the two schools plan to meet Monday.

Tonia Black-Gold, a spokeswoman for Catawba, said that police have increased patrols around campus.

``Our kids are in shock,'' Black-Gold said. ``They're scared.''

The campuses of Livingstone, a historically black college, and Catawba, are located a few miles apart.

Catawba is affiliated with the United Church of Christ; Livingstone is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.