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Washington State player wounded in shooting day before Lowe's death

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Posted at 9:23 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 23:30:22-04

PULLMAN, Wash. — Less than 24 hours before a University of Utah football player was shot and killed in Salt Lake City, a player on the team the Utes played on Saturday was wounded in a similar shooting a couple of states away.

Just hours after Utah defeated Washington State 24-13 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, sophomore cornerback Aaron Lowe died in a shooting outside a home in the Sugar House neighborhood in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Coincidentally, a Washington State player was injured in a shooting early Saturday morning, close to the same time.

The shooting occurred around 12:30 a.m. local time in Pullman, Washington near WSU's campus, according to The Spokesman-Review.

One victim, identified as 23-year-old Liban Barre, died from gunshot wounds. He was reportedly from Kent, Washington, and was not a student at WSU.

Wide receiver Brandon Gray was wounded in the shooting. He was airlifted to a hospital in Spokane in critical condition, but he was stable as of Monday.

ESPN reports that he wasn't traveling with the team because he didn't get much playing time.

The two shootings share some similarities.

Both occurred at or outside of a house party within a few miles of the players' college campuses. They both also happened close to 12:30 a.m. (in their respective time zones).

Both parties were reported for being loud. However, police in Pullman were responding to the noise complaint and approaching the house when they heard gunshots, while SLC Police did not respond to the noise complaint. Rather, officers were dispatched to the area after they received reports of a fight involving a weapon.

READ: Why police didn’t respond to noise complaints before Lowe shooting

Another similarity: Both shootings resulted in one person being killed and another being critically wounded. A female victim was shot in the same incident as Lowe. As of Monday, she was still in critical but stable condition.

One major difference, however, is that a suspect was arrested shortly after the shooting that wounded Gray and killed Barre.

SLC Police had not identified a suspect as of Monday, but Chief Mike Brown said they have "several potential promising leads."

Despite the loss, WSU's Coach Nick Rolovich applauded his team for how they played in Saturday's game while knowing one of their teammates was hospitalized from the shooting.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with [Gray]," he said after the game, according to a report from ESPN Seattle. "I have so much respect for this team for how they played. I know we didn't win, I know we weren't great, but for them to go out and play as hard as they did after getting the news about their teammate is a tribute to their character."

After hearing the tragic news about Lowe, Rolovich said he reached out to Utah's Coach Kyle Whittingham.

“I texted Whitt, telling him that we were thinking about him, praying for him,” Rolovich said. “You don’t wish this on anybody.”