LARAMIE – Incoming University of Wyoming freshman wide receiver Tony Evans Jr. was shot and killed in Dallas Sunday morning, according to the Dallas Police Department. The Dallas Morning News was the first to report the news.
Evans, 17, and one additional victim were found wounded at a Hawthorn Suites Hotel located on Brookriver Drive. Per The Dallas Morning News, the incident happened at a party inside a hotel room. Both victims were taken to the hospital, where Evans later died.
The shooting is being investigated as a homicide, per police. The suspect and motive are still unknown.
Evans' friend, Courtney Massingill, told The Dallas Morning News that Evans was expecting a child in May.
“Our hearts are with the Evans family as they go through this incredibly difficult time,” UW coach Craig Bohl said in a statement. “We are so sad to hear of Tony’s passing. We have been in contact with Tony’s family and are here to support them in anyway we can.”
Evans signed with the Cowboys in February along with fellow Lancaster High teammate D.Q. James. Evans was a three-star recruit according to 247Sports. He recorded 21 catches for 465 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior in 2019.
Massingill told The Dallas Morning News he heard gunfire right as he parked his car. He then went inside the hotel room and found Evans "laying in a puddle of blood."
"All I remember is shots fired, girls screaming," Massingill told the paper.
Evans and James were close friends, James told WyoSports in a phone interview. The two were set to be roommates at UW and had spoken earlier in the week following Evans’ surgery to fix his injured back, James said.
“I’m hurt right now … You could say he was my brother,” James said. “I came across some good ones, but there’s no brother like me and Tony. It was pretty rare.”
Evans committed to UW before James did. When James decommitted from Hawaii, James said he asked Evans about teaming up in Laramie. Evans told James the two were going to “rock out” in Wyoming. The duo had big dreams for the Equality State.
James described Evans as extremely hard-working and dedicated. He was laid-back and fun but always kept his promises; he never wanted to let you down.
And Evans was always grinning from ear-to-ear. It had a way of raising everyone’s spirits.
“He always had a smile on his face,” James said. “There was never a day he didn’t have a smile.”
James told WyoSports he will honor Evans through his Cowboys career.
“When I get there to Wyoming, I will not let up. I will work hard for my boy Tony,” James said. “I pray that his family and friends heal.”