Report: Copeland hit by ricochet at party

Updated: December 16, 2003, 8:35 AM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- A bullet was discovered lodged in the armpit of a Colorado basketball player more than 24 hours after shots were fired at a party he attended, the Rocky Mountain News reported Tuesday.

Chris Copeland, 19, was hit by a ricochet when gunmen fired about 15 shots at a party early Sunday, coach Ricardo Patton told the newspaper.

Doctors missed the bullet when they initially examined Copeland.

"He's fine. He's up and about. But our trainers don't know when he'll be able to practice," Patton said.

Investigators hope to recover the bullet if it can be removed without endangering Copeland, a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward from Richmond, Va., Police Cmdr. Kurt Weiler told the newspaper.

Copeland missed Sunday's practice and won't play Friday when Colorado meets Tennessee State, Patton said.

Patton said none of the basketball players who attended the party, held by Colorado football player Alex Ligon, did anything wrong. But the coach also said that they should have exercised better judgment.

"You have to look at the history of these kinds of parties," Patton said. "It's unrealistic for those guys to think they're going to a harmless party at someone's house and nothing could occur."

Police identified two Denver men as suspects, and called for them to surrender.

Jamar Anthony Johnson, 18, and Jonathan Lamar Martin, 19, were being sought, and both were considered armed and dangerous, police said.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press