Former Razorback among two injured; suspect sought.
FAYETTEVILLE — A former Razorback football player was one of two men shot early Sunday morning in a university parking lot, according to police and other sources.
Sebastian Tretola, a Tennessee
Titans lineman, was shot in the leg and suffered minor injuries, the Tennessean newspaper reported, citing media reports and the team.
The Fayetteville Police Department had not released the men’s names as of Sunday night, and police were looking for the shooter. The incident occurred at 1:45 a.m. Sunday in the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville parking lot near Lafayette Street and West Avenue, Sgt. Anthony Murphy said.
The two men were taken to Washington Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries,
“The shooting was preceded by an altercation between two males,” he said. “That altercation escalated. One of the males produced a handgun and fired shots.”
One of injured men was a bystander, Murphy said.
The shooting occurred in Lot 53 by the Lit Lounge, which is a short distance from Dickson Street. A number of shell casings from a small-caliber handgun were found there, Murphy said. The lot also is near an apartment complex and a university building.
Numerous officers were on Dickson Street around the time of the shooting and responded quickly, he said. It was just prior to 2 a.m. when bars were closing.
“Sometimes you just can’t help things that occur at 2 a.m. in an entertainment district like that,” Murphy said.
University of Arkansas Police Department officers were also on the scene as the lot is owned by the university.
The suspect wanted in connection with the shooting was described as a dark skinned male, 5-foot-10 and 180 to 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with the writing “Cartel” in green and gold. His identity is not known, according to a University RazALERT emergency notification.
Murphy was aware of the university’s alert, but it was based on information the university police gathered, he said. Murphy did not have that information.
Fayetteville police will coordinate the investigation, said Mark Rushing, a university spokesman.
“We will discuss safety in this area in light of this incident,” he said.
The Titans issued a statement Sunday acknowledging the shooting.
“We are aware of the reports that Sebastian received treatment for a wound when he was grazed by a bullet. He has been released from the hospital and is thankful only for a minor injury,” the statement said.
The Titans selected Tretola in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft.
Tretola, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 314 pounds, was a backup guard last season as a rookie. He played in just one game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, three snaps total, according to a story on the Titans’ website. He dressed out for one other game and was inactive for 14 games.
He played two seasons at Arkansas in 2014 and 2015 after transferring from Iowa Western Community College. He began his college career at the University of Nevada in Reno where he redshirted as a true freshman in 2011 and played 10 games in 2012 (including four starts) before becoming academically ineligible, which resulted in his transfer to a junior college and playing at Iowa Western as a third-year sophomore in 2013.
Tretola started his final 24 games at Arkansas at left guard and earned first-team All-SEC honors and second-team All-American honors as a senior in 2015. As a senior he also was co-winner of the Jacobs Award as the SEC’s top blocker with Alabama center Ryan Kelly.
Tretola became an Internet sensation as a junior in 2014 when he threw a 6-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal to snapper Alan D’Appollonio in Arkansas’ 4517 victory over Alabama-Birmingham.
This corner of University of Arkansas lot 53 was the scene of a shooting early morning Sunday. The lot is near the corner of West Avenue and Watson Street in Fayetteville.
Fayetteville Police responded to a call about a shooting at 1:48 a.m. Sunday morning at Lot 53 by Lit Lounge off Dickson Street. University of Arkansas Police Department officers were also on the scene as the lot is owned by the university.