Alabama’s Kai Spears Refutes Report He Was at Deadly Shooting
A Wednesday report from The New York Times stated the freshman walk-on was a fourth Crimson Tide player at the scene of the January incident.
Editors’ note: This story contains details of gun violence. If you or someone you know is a survivor of gun violence or is coping and needs to speak with someone, please call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.
Alabama men’s basketball player Kai Spears publicly refuted a recent report from The New York Times that said he was present at the scene of the deadly shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris in January.
The Wednesday report from the Times said that Spears, a freshman walk-on, was at the scene of the shooting along with Brandon Miller, Jaden Bradley and Darius Miles, who had all previously been identified. The report stated that, according to an anonymous Times source, Spears was in Miller’s car when two bullets struck the windshield of the vehicle, but that neither player was injured.
Spears called the report “100% inaccurate” on Thursday.
“I have one thing to say – the report in the New York Times was 100% inaccurate and the writer had complete disregard for the truth,” Spears wrote in a note posted on Instagram. “I am trying to process and cope with these false statements that somehow have been published and then seen by so many. So thankful to Alabama Athletics for refuting it on my behalf.”
Spears ended his statement by saying that he remains “completely heartbroken by the tragic death that occurred that night.”
Christian Spears, Kai’s father and the athletic director at Marshall, released a statement about the Times report through the athletic department on Thursday.
“I am just incredibly disappointed in the irresponsible and demonstrably false reporting by the NY Times,” Spears said. “We are exploring all legal options at this time. I will have no further comment, instead deferring to the University of Alabama’s statement on the matter.”
Alabama, the No. 1 overall seed in the men’s NCAA tournament, had also disputed the Times’ report Wednesday, one day ahead of the team’s first-round game against No. 16 Texas A&M Corpus-Christi.
“Your story is inaccurate,” Alabama said in a statement to the newspaper, per AL.com’s Mike Rodak. “Based on the information we have, there were no current student-athletes present at the scene other than Brandon Miller and Jaden Bradley, who are both fully cooperating witnesses. From the outset, UA Athletics has fully cooperated with law enforcement and supported their investigation.”
Miles was dismissed from the team shortly after the shooting occurred and was formally indicted on capital murder charges Friday alongside Michael Davis, who was never associated with the basketball program. Police testimony at a pretrial hearing last month revealed that Miller and Bradley were present at the shooting, and that Miller drove his vehicle, which contained Miles’s gun, over to the scene before the incident.
Miller’s attorney said Miller did not know why Miles wanted his gun or that an altercation had happened. Miller does not face any charges in the case.