MINNEAPOLIS -- A former Fresno State player was arrested in Minneapolis on charges of killing a woman during a botched robbery last month in Fresno, Calif., authorities said Tuesday.
Terry L. Pettis, a Minnesota high school basketball standout, was booked into the Hennepin County jail Tuesday.
Fresno police had asked Minneapolis police for help in arresting Pettis, 19, who returned to Minneapolis in early May. Pettis played parts of two seasons for Fresno State before being suspended and later dismissed from the team.
Pettis is accused in the deadly shooting of Rene Abbott, 18, who was shot April 27 while sitting with two men in a car, said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Pettis walked up to the car, which was parked in a secluded lot near an apartment building, intending to rob the trio, Dyer said.
"Something happened during the robbery to cause him to fire his
handgun," Dyer said. He declined to elaborate.
Abbott, who was in the driver's seat, was fatally wounded, and a 21-year-old man in the car also was hurt, Dyer said. The apartment
complex is in a relatively quiet neighborhood that is home to many
students from Fresno State and other schools, he said.
While Pettis wasn't acquainted with the victims, he knew where they were going to be and when they would be there, Dyer said.
Pettis had been involved with the police several times.
In September 2003, Pettis hit his girlfriend, then damaged her
car. Two weeks later, on Oct. 8, the basketball player pleaded no
contest to misdemeanor vandalism and battery charges. He was
sentenced to three year's probation and told to get counseling.
Coach Ray Lopes reinstated Pettis, but had to suspend him again when Pettis went into a 30-day inpatient substance abuse program in November.
Pettis spent one week in jail in April for violating the terms
of his probation and not finishing the court-mandated treatment program for batterers.
Pettis was averaging 12.8 points per game last season before he was suspended from the team in February.
A sealed arrest warrant filed Tuesday afternoon charges Pettis
with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder and three
counts of armed robbery, Dyer said
Fresno investigators will travel to Minneapolis to escort him
back to California, but it is unclear when that will happen.
Pettis was a Minnesota Mr. Basketball finalist as a senior at Minneapolis Patrick Henry High School in 2002 when he averaged 19.6 points per game. When he graduated, he was Henry's all-time leading scorer. That spring, Pettis signed to
play at Fresno State.