NIU's Devon Butler shot off-campus

Updated: April 6, 2011, 3:33 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

DEKALB, Ill. -- Northern Illinois linebacker Devon Butler was in critical condition Wednesday after being shot off-campus.

The school released a statement saying the shooting occurred Tuesday night in DeKalb. He was transferred to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, about 45 miles away, early Wednesday morning.

Coach Dave Doeren, who was at the hospital, says in a statement, "All our thoughts and prayers as a team and as a coaching staff right now are with Devon."

Two suspects are in custody in the shooting and charged with attempted first degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm and unlawful delivery of cannabis, according to the police report.

Investigators said that shots were fired from a car into an apartment that Butler was visiting. Police said the apartment was targeted as a result of a drug transaction that occurred there earlier Tuesday. There is no indication that Butler had anything to do with that transaction, according to police.

Butler is a junior from Pembroke Pines, Fla. He was in on 80 tackles -- second on the team -- and had 4½ sacks. Doeren has suspended all team activities, including Thursday morning's spring football practice, until further notice.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers contributed to this report.

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