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AUDIO: Washburn Football Mourns the Loss of Dwane Simmons, Giants Draft Pick Ballentine Injured

A Washburn University football player was killed in an overnight shooting in Topeka on Sunday, April 28th. The off-campus shooting also injured another former player as well.

Washburn confirmed junior Dwane Simmons was killed in the shooting.  Former player Corey Ballentine, 23, was also injured.

Dwane Simmons, 23, just finished his junior season for the Ichabod football team. Simmons came to Washburn from Lee’s Summit West High school.

Ballentine was selected in the NFL Draft on Saturday with pick number 180 to the New York Giants. Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery.

Topeka police say Ballentine was taken to an area hospital “with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.”

The shooting occurred at 12:45 am at the 1400 block of 13th street.

The investigation is still ongoing.

 

Hear from Washburn Football Head Coach Craig Schurig on the events and the smiling, happy and fun personality of Dwane Simmons. 

Hear from Defensive Coordinator Zach Watkins on what type of person Dwane was and the relationship with Corey Ballentine. 

 

The Washburn University release:

The Washburn Ichabod football team, athletic department and campus community are mourning the loss of Dwane Simmons, a junior mass media major from Lee’s Summit, Mo., who passed away early Sunday (April 28) morning.

“Heartbreaking news about Dwane Simmons,” said head coach Craig Schurig. “Dwane is one of the most energetic and well-liked players I have ever coached at Washburn. Dwane’s infectious smile and love for football and his teammates was truly inspirational. Our prayers of healing go out to his family, his parents Navarro and Yasmine Simmons and Chaquilla Williams.”

Simmons came to Washburn playing the 2015 through 2018 seasons coming back from two knee injuries. Overall he played in 22 games making 17 starts recording 59 tackles with 42 solo tackles. He added three interceptions for 129 yards returning one for a touchdown in 2018 against Missouri Southern.

Media note: A scheduled 3 p.m. press conference today with  Corey Ballentine postponed until further notice.

Letter to campus community from Washburn University President Dr. Jerry Farley

To the campus community:

We come to you this morning with sad and difficult news.  Early this morning two of our students were the victims of an off-campus shooting.  Dwane Simmons, a junior and a member of the football team, was killed in the incident.  In addition, Corey Ballentine, a senior, was injured.  Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery.

Any time we lose a student it is a sad occasion, but it is particularly poignant to lose a student through such a senseless act.  Both Dwane and Corey have been great examples and representatives of the football team and of Washburn University in general.  This was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration and a day to look forward to Dwane’s upcoming year at Washburn and the beginning of Corey’s professional career.

While we extend our deepest sympathies to Dwane’s family, we also want to make sure that the campus community knows that we have counseling resources available.  We will have counselors on campus today and the counseling help line — 785-670-3100 — is available 24 hours a day.

Please take advantage of these services as we keep both Dwane and Corey and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

Dr. Jerry Farley, president


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