Former LSU offensive lineman Brandon Winey was arrested Saturday and charged with shooting another former Tigers football player, linebacker Tahj Jones. Police said Winey, 36, shot Jones in the stomach Friday night after the two argued at the home of a woman both went to visit. The woman took Jones to West Calcasieu hospital in Sulphur, then he was transferred to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria where he is listed in serious condition after undergoing surgery Saturday morning, according to reports.
Police said Winey was arrested at his home in Lake Charles, LA Saturday after fleeing in his vehicle immediately after the shooting. He was charged with second-degree attempted murder and his bail was set at $1 million, police said. Officials at LSU said they are aware of the shooting and are currently gathering more information. According to reports, doctors are concerned about Jones’ internal organs and he had a second surgery Sunday to make sure that the bullet did not damage any vital organs.
Sulphur police said they received a phone call just before midnight on Friday evening alerting them that someone had been shot. They said Jones, 24, arrived at the woman’s residence first, followed by Winey shortly after and a verbal dispute between the two turned physical when Winey brandished a handgun. Several of Jones’ former teammates took to social media platform Twitter Saturday to express their concern.
Linebacker Lamar Louis tweeted, “Can everybody stop what you’re doing and say a prayer for my former teammate Tahj Jones, number 58? He’s fighting for his life right now.”
Kevin Minter, a former Tigers linebacker now in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals tweeted: “Praying for Tajh Jones. Stay strong bruh.”
Jones, a native of Sulphur, just took part in LSU’s pro day last Wednesday after seeing limited action in his four-year collegiate career due to injury and academic intelligibility. He wowed coaches and scouts with a 4.54 40-yard dash and 30.5 inch vertical jump. Last season, Jones started in three games and played just eight for the Tigers and in 2012, he was declared academically ineligible for every game except the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He had four tackles, one sack and forced a fumble in a 25-24 loss to Clemson in the game.
For his career, Jones had 47 tackles, five for loss, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. Jones started his collegiate career to much acclaim, earning first team All-State honors in both his junior and senior years at Sulphur High School in 2007 and 2008. The 6-2 210 pound outside linebacker was the country’s No. 40 prospect coming out of high school. According to NFL Draft projections, Jones is likely to go undrafted.
Winey played his high school ball at Washinton-Marion High School in nearby Lake Charles, about a dozen miles from Sulphur. After playing for LSU from 1997 to 2000, Winey was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. The 6-6, 315 pound offensive tackle played in 24 games in his three season in the NFL with Washington, Denver and Miami.
Commentary by Rick Sarlat