Police make arrest in murder of LSU basketball player Wayde Sims
BATON ROUGE - A suspect has been arrested in the murder of LSU basketball player Wayde Sims, the Baton Rouge Police Department announced during a press conference Saturday morning.
> WATCH: A portion of the news conference can be seen HERE.
Dyteon Simpson, 20, of Baker, La, was arrested overnight and charged with second-degree murder. Simpson admitted to police he "intentionally" shot Sims, according to arrest records. Simpson's bond was set at $350,000.
Simpson's glasses were recovered from the scene of the shooting, and were used to identify the suspect, along with the help of multiple tips from members of the public, BRPD said.
Police responded to reports of a shooting in the 600 block of Harding Boulevard across from Southern University around 12:25 a.m. on Sept. 28. 20-year-old Wayde Sims was taken to an area hospital with an apparent gunshot wound.According to the coroner's office, he later died of a gunshot wound to the neck.
Video recorded by witnesses appears to show Sims involved in a fight with several individuals just moments before he was fatally shot. Police said Sims "stepped in to defend his friend" during the fight before he was shot.
Due to the graphic nature of the video, WBRZ has decided not to play the sound or the moment Sims was shot. Police later released more video showing the moments leading up to the shooting in hopes that it might help identify the shooter.
At a press conference Saturday, BRPD thanked the community for coming forward to assist with the investigation, which they say is ongoing.
Sims was a Junior and LSU basketball player. According to his LSU bio, Sims was born in Winter Park, Florida then moved to Baton Rouge. Sims said he chose LSU because he wanted to stay close to home.
"This team made me feel like part of a family," he previously said.
Before LSU, Sims attended University Laboratory School. He was the 2014-2015 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year and was chosen for the First Team All-State selection.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva released a statement Saturday saying:
“On behalf of LSU, I would like to thank the Baton Rouge Police Department, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s office and all law enforcement involved in this case for their hard work, diligence and pursuit of justice. Along with LSU Athletics, the entire LSU family continues to mourn the loss of Wayde Sims. Our thoughts today are with his family, friends and teammates.”
LSU Football says it plans to have a moment of silence before the Ole Miss game at Tiger Stadium Saturday.
Several school and government officials released statements in response to Sims' death.
LSU President F. King Alexander released a statement:
“We are stunned and shaken. To say we are grief-stricken is an understatement. Wayde was a beloved member of the LSU community whose leadership was treasured by his coach and his teammates. I knew him personally and liked him tremendously. The void left by his passing will be immense, and we ask that you keep his family in your prayers.”
In a press conference Friday, LSU Basketball Coach Will Wade said:
“We are all devastated. We need your prayers for Wayde, for his family, for all of us. We are heartbroken.”
Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva also released a statement saying:
“Wayde Sims’ loss is simply unbelievable to us right now. There are no words that can express our sorrow for his parents and family. He was such a lovable young man who was full of joy. We are circling around his teammates and friends who need all the love and support we can give them. We are praying for his family, for his parents. God bless Wayde Sims.”
Southern University President Ray L. Belton expressed condolences:
"On behalf of the entire Southern University community, we express our sincerest condolences to Wayde Sims' family, teammates, fellow students and the LSU community. It is always a tragedy for our entire area when there is a loss of life."
University Laboratory School released the following regarding Sims:
"Our UHS community is devastated to learn of the tragic loss of life Wayde Sims. He was a bright light on our campus for many years excelling not only on the basketball court but also in the classroom. He was a true friend, a confidant, and the embodiment of what we know here as Cub spirit. Wayde Sims will absolutely be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him. Our prayers go out to his family, his LSU teammates and classmates, his former U-High teammates and classmates and all of his coaches and teachers."
Gov. John Bel Edwards sent a Tweet about Sims before noon Friday.
"Our hearts break for Wayde Sims’ family. This is a devastating loss for the LSU family, his hometown of Baton Rouge, & the entire state of LA. Donna and I ask that you join your prayers to ours as we remember this remarkably talented young man who has been taken from us too soon."
People close to Sims took to social media to post about the late student-athlete.
We love you Wayde pic.twitter.com/BVW7Omd2BK— Joe Spencer (@CoachJoeSpencer) September 28, 2018
I don’t even know where to start. My heart absolutely breaks for Mr. Wayne and Mrs. Fay right now and just ask everyone to keep them and everyone else close in their prayers. Wayde was one of the most loving kids I’ve ever been around. Gonna miss you little bro. pic.twitter.com/A046G1GyuI— Zach Kendrick (@zkendrick) September 28, 2018
Our deepest condolences to the @LSUBasketball family during this tragic and sad time. RIP Wayde Sims.— LSU Bands (@LSUBands) September 28, 2018
We are heartbroken to learn of @LSUBasketball student-athlete Wayde Sims’ death. The loss of a student-athlete anywhere is a loss for everyone associated with intercollegiate athletics. The entire @SEC is praying for the Sims family, @LSU & the Baton Rouge community.— Greg Sankey (@GregSankey) September 28, 2018
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