Former NBA player Dallas Comegys, who has been playing basketball overseas, was fighting for his life in a hospital Thursday after being shot in a nightclub altercation that left one man dead.
The 31-year-old Comegys, a former star at DePaul University, was shot in the chest, and Larry Spriggs, 36, who played at Howard University and in the NBA, was shot in the back, apparently by a bouncer as they were leaving the club with two other U.S. players, Henry Turner and Ricky Winslow.
Comegys was listed in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his right lung. He was in intensive care at Uludag University Medical School Hospital in Bursa, 150 miles southwest of Istanbul.
“Dallas’ situation has stabilized,” physician Ceyhun Irgil said. “He is still in critical condition, but more stable. He is on the way to improvement. However, the threat to his life is not completely over.”
Spriggs was listed in good condition following surgery.
Comegys, who played three NBA seasons with New Jersey and San Antonio after leaving DePaul in 1987, plays for Istanbul’s Fenerbahce club, as do Turner and Winslow. Spriggs, who played for the NBA’s Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, plays for Bursa’s Oyak Renault.
There were conflicting reports as to what precipitated the shooting. Sevki Dincal, deputy police chief of Bursa, told a television interviewer that the Americans were verbally abusive to two Turkish women outside the club, which led to a scuffle with their male escorts. A club bouncer intervened, firing his gun and hitting Comegys, Spriggs and an unidentified patron who died on the spot, Dincal said. Police detained three people, including the bouncer, who admitted to doing the shooting.
The Fenerbahce club gave a different version. “Our players were caught in the middle of a quarrel they had nothing to do with,” a statement from the team said.