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Friends say Doster unlikely victim of violence

TAMPA, Fla. -- Friends of affable Vanderbilt Commodores football star
Kwane Doster remembered him Monday as a quiet young man, unlikely
ever to be a victim of violent death.

The running back was fatally shot early Sunday as he and two
friends sat in a car in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant
in Ybor City, Tampa's historic nightclub area. His companions were
not injured.

No motive for the shooting has been established, Tampa Police
Lt. William Ferguson said. Police said they do not know if Doster
was the intended target.

"He's the last person on the team who we thought would die this
way," said Vanderbilt running backs coach Kenny Carter, who came to
Tampa from Nashville, Tenn., to help the family.

He described Doster, 21, as a popular player, "a good kid;
that's why all our players were so drawn to him."

Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said Doster's death is the
toughest situation he has dealt with as a coach.

"I've had other things happen that were tragic. This is the
first time a violent act has taken somebody away from us," Johnson
said in Nashville.

Johnson learned the news in a telephone call just before 5 a.m. ET while in Charleston, S.C., with his wife for Christmas.

"That's why I always have my phone on. You know those calls in
the early morning aren't going to be good. I was just shocked and
devastated. It was just hard to believe, hard to believe," he said.

Ruben Doster said his nephew was "a likable guy, not a
talkative person. He was quiet. Go to a party, you'd never know he
was there."

No arrests have been made, police said Monday. They found the
orange Infiniti that they believe stopped next to the vehicle in
which Doster was a passenger, and said they know who the owner is.
Police said someone inside the Infiniti fired a hail of bullets, hitting Doster once.

"We are talking to a number of people," police spokesman Joe Durkin said.

Doster, a junior majoring in human and organizational
development, had hopes of a career in sports management and was
looking forward to graduation in 2006, according to his mother,
Kelly Doster.

"He was the most beautiful son a mother might want to have,"
she said Monday, standing in the yard of their modest, sun-splashed
home set in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood. "He made life so
easy. He was just a born leader."

She said his loss has been "unbearable." However, she knows
her Kwane's siblings will look to her for support.

"I know I have to be strong for my daughter and my son and
grandson," she said.

She said Kwane spent Christmas Day at home with family. They ate
a typical southern-style dinner, featuring dressing, turkey,
oxtails, collard greens, rice and his favorite dish -- macaroni and
cheese.

About midnight, he said he was going out with friends. Two hours
later, she was awakened by a phone call from the hospital where he
had been taken.

In Nashville, junior wide receiver Erik Davis spoke about Doster
for a few minutes before breaking down.

"It's nothing you can learn to cope with when something as
senseless as this happens for no reason, for no reason at all," Davis said.

Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee has chartered an airplane to
take school officials, coaches and football players to Tampa for
Doster's funeral Friday afternoon.

Doster was one of the first recruits Johnson brought to
Vanderbilt after being hired in December 2001. Doster was a former
standout athlete at Robinson High School, where he played both
football and baseball. He became the first Vanderbilt player ever
recognized as the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year in
2002 after setting a team record with 798 yards rushing.