As the family of Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay is left in shock and mourning over the shooting death of his 15-year-old daughter, three men are in police custody and have been charged in connection with her slaying.
Trinity Gay was struck in the neck in a 4 a.m. Sunday and died at the University of Kentucky Medical Center less than an hour later, the coroner’s office for Fayette County, Kentucky said in a statement.
Lexington police said in a statement that officers went to the parking lot of a restaurant near the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington after witnesses reported an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles. Officers located one of the vehicles and stopped two people for questioning, the statement added.
Police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said police don’t believe Trinity Gay was in either of the vehicles involved. The family said she was an innocent bystander when she was shot while standing with friends outside the restaurant.
Officials announced that Dvonta Middlebrooks, 21, was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. A statement said investigators determined that Middlebrooks was in the parking lot and fired multiple shots at the time of the incident.
Chazerae Taylor, 38 and D’markeo Taylor, a father and son, were also charged with wanton endangerment, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Another man who was questioned by the police has not been charged.
Tyson Gay competed in the last three Summer Olympics. He was part of a team that won a silver medal in the 4×100-meter relay at the 2012 London Games though that medal was ultimately stripped after Gay tested positive for steroids in 2013.
Last summer’s Games in Rio featured another stinging disappointment for Gay, 33, who has battled injuries. He was a member of the American men’s 4×100-meter relay team that finished third in the final before being disqualified for an illegal baton exchange between Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin. The team’s appeal was denied, giving Canada the bronze medal.
Trinity Gay was a sprinter at Lafayette High in Lexington and finished fourth in the 100 meters and fifth in the 200 meters at the state Class 3A high school track meet in May, records show. She also ran on a 4×200 relay team that finished fourth. Her father, who ran years earlier at Lafayette, still holds the state record in the 100 set in 2001.
Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said in a statement that “Our hearts are broken this morning over the loss of Trinity to this tragic and senseless act of violence. Please join us in keeping the Gay family close in thought and prayer and supporting the students, staff, and families at Lafayette High during this unspeakably difficult time.”
USA Track and Field also tweeted its condolences:
Sending our thoughts & prayers to @TysonLGay & his loved ones as they mourn the tragic & senseless loss of his daughter, Trinity.
— USATF (@usatf) October 16, 2016
And NBA veteran Vince Carter of the Memphis Grizzlies tweeted his sympathy as well:
Many prayers up to @TysonLGay and his family
— Vince Carter (@mrvincecarter15) October 16, 2016