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Miami safety Cooper shot, teammate returns fire

SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. -- Miami Hurricanes reserve safety Willie
Cooper was shot in the buttocks when confronted in his yard Friday
morning by an unknown person who fled after another player returned
gunfire.

Police said Cooper was able to walk after being shot and the
injury wasn't believed to be serious, but he was taken to a
hospital for treatment.

After Cooper was shot, teammate and roommate Brandon Meriweather
pulled a pistol from his pants pocket and fired three times at the
person, who jumped a fence and fled with another person in a car,
police said. It was unclear if the assailant was hit.

Police said Meriweather used his gun legally.

Cooper and Meriweather told police they noticed a suspicious car
parked outside their home near campus shortly after 6:30 a.m. When
they went outside to investigate, a person crouched next to the
house jumped up and shot Cooper.

The Miami athletic department released a statement saying it was
cooperating with the police investigation.

"Until the investigation is complete, we will not have any
additional comment," the statement said.

The house is owned by Hurricanes defensive backs coach Tim
Walton and rented to players with approval from the school's
compliance office.

Cooper, a junior, has played mostly on special teams for three
years. He is listed as a second-team safety on the spring depth
chart.

Meriweather is a standout safety for the Hurricanes.