WACO, Texas - A police informant told authorities that missing Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy was shot in the head with a 9 mm handgun by a former teammate after the two had an argument, according to court documents released Monday.
The former teammate and roommate, Carlton Dotson, told a cousin that he got in an argument with Dennehy while they were shooting guns in the Waco area and that Dennehy pointed a gun at Dotson as if to shoot him, the informant said.
But Dotson instead shot Dennehy in the head with the pistol, the informant said. Dotson said he then drove home to Hurlock, Md., and got rid of the guns along the way, according to the informant.
The search warrant affidavit released Monday was filed June 23 in McLennan County by Waco police detective Bob Fuller.
District Attorney John Segrest declined to comment Monday, referring questions to Waco police. Fuller did not return a phone call Monday. A message left on an answering machine at a number listed for Dotson's guardians in Maryland was not immediately returned.
Waco Police Chief Alberto Melis said no body had been found and no arrests had been made, and he would not elaborate on any evidence. Waco police spokesman Steven Anderson has said authorities believe "potential suspects" include fellow Baylor basketball players.
Dennehy was reported missing by his family on June 19, and his sport utility vehicle, its license plates missing, was found last week in a mall parking lot in Virginia Beach, Va.
Melis said officers were treating the disappearance like a homicide because his department got a call "from an outside source" that said a homicide had occurred in the Waco area and the victim could be associated with a local university.
Dennehy transferred to Baylor in hopes of making what he called a fresh start after getting kicked off his previous basketball team because of his temper.
The 6-foot-10, 230-pound center accepted a scholarship to play basketball at the Baptist school and told friends he had become a born-again Christian. He was a B student and rarely missed a class.
"It's a fresh start," he said when accepting a scholarship in May 2002. "I feel great. It's a new coach, a new team, a new set of personalities."
Tom Stanton, Baylor's athletic director, said Monday he couldn't discuss the case. He also added that he wanted to stop some of the "negative suggestions about his (Dennehy's) temperament."
"We saw a young man who got along well with his teammates and was extremely anxious to compete this year," Stanton said. "Patrick has been a model student-athlete since coming to Baylor. That's why these incredible events have stunned and upset us all."
Kristal Wilson, 21, a senior from El Paso, lives next door to the four-bedroom apartment that she said Dennehy, Dotson and another person shared. She said they were well-mannered and sometimes played loud music, which was typical in the complex.
"They were just really funny guys," she said, fighting back tears. "I'm sure it's upsetting for everybody. It's a tragedy."
Before he disappeared, Dennehy was attending summer school at Baylor, the world's largest Baptist university with more than 14,000 students.
At Baylor, he was not eligible to play basketball for a year, but he practiced with the team and sat on the bench during games.
The junior from Santa Clara, Calif., majored in speech communication and dreamed of playing in the NBA, then working in public relations for his favorite team, the Sacramento Kings, said John Cunningham, a speech communications professor at Baylor.
When Dennehy did not call home on Father's Day, June 15, his mother, Valorie Brabazon, and his stepfather, Brian Brabazon, got worried. When Dennehy's girlfriend called his parents looking for him, they started calling his friends.
What the stepfather found out - he will not give details - upset him so much that he decided to call the university.
Brabazon also said that someone had recently broken into Dennehy's SUV and stolen money from him, and that Dennehy had told Baylor coaches he was scared.
Dennehy played two seasons at the University of New Mexico, where he averaged 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds his sophomore year and was named honorable mention All-Mountain West Conference in 2001-02.
He was cut from the team after losing his temper during practice, less than two weeks after he argued with a teammate during a game, kicked a chair and stormed out.
Team doctors said a medical condition may have contributed to the outburst, but would not say what it was.
Dotson, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 4.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in a reserve role with Baylor last season. He was not expected to return next season. Dotson came to the Waco school after spending two seasons at Paris Junior College.