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Former EWU cornerback shot 11 times after dispute in Seattle’s Pioneer Square district

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 17, 2017

A former Eastern Washington University football player was shot 11 times early Monday after a dispute in Seattle’s Pioneer Square district.

Alden Gibbs Jr., a standout cornerback who also played on EWU’s basketball team, is in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

His friend and former basketball teammate, Kevin Winford, said Gibbs, 30, was shot in the back after sticking up for a female friend who was being assaulted by another man outside the Stage nightclub. He said Gibbs is heavily sedated, and it’s unclear if he will be able to walk again.

“He’s stable, but most importantly he’s alive,” said Winford, who visited Gibbs in the intensive care unit Tuesday. “He still has a lot of surgeries to get through.”

In a statement that does not identify Gibbs or the suspect, the Seattle Police Department said officers were on patrol near the nightclub early Monday when they witnessed a fight in a parking lot.

“The officers approached the fight and witnessed a man pull out a gun and begin shooting the victim who fell to the ground,” the statement says. “The suspect attempted to run away, but officers apprehended him on the other side of the parking lot.”

Police said the victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center, and the suspect was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of assault.

A Seattle Police Department spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday. Winford said he didn’t believe Gibbs knew the assailant.

A Brooklyn native who briefly studied at a college in California, Gibbs transferred to EWU in 2009 to play as a small forward on the basketball team. The next year, he switched to football and played on the NCAA FCS national championship team. He’s one of few EWU students to letter in both sports.

Kirk Earlywine, the former Eagles basketball coach who recruited Gibbs and now coaches at the University of Idaho, said Gibbs bucked the stereotype of a brash and belligerent New Yorker.

“Alden was anything but that,” Earlywine said. “He was never a confrontational type of guy.”

Gibbs graduated from EWU with a communications degree in 2012 and most recently worked as a hotel manager in Seattle.

Winford is helping manage an online fundraiser to pay Gibbs’ medical bills. As of Tuesday afternoon, the campaign had garnered nearly $15,000 of a $75,000 goal. Dozens of friends and family members have posted messages of support on social media.

“I can’t wait for him to see how much support he’s had throughout this process,” Winford said.

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