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Utah Football Star Ty Jordan Dead In Apparent Accidental Shooting

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On Christmas night, a tragic accident left one rising Utah football star dead.

What We Know:

  • According to The Salt Lake Tribune, police responded to a shooting call on Friday at around 9 pm to the 1100 block of Avenue B in Denton, Texas. Upon arrival, officers found the victim of an accidental discharge wound, who was transported to Denton Regional Medical Center. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
  • The victim was identified as 19-year-old Ty Jordan. The University of Utah freshman was a running back sensation for the Utes. Days before the incident, he was named the Pac-12 offensive freshman of the year, running 597 yards with six touchdowns on 83 carries in five games. He was the first Utah freshman to have three consecutive 100-yard rushing games since 1995.
  • On Sunday, the medical examiner’s office in Tarrant County, Texas, said the young athlete died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. They announced the time of death to be 10:46 pm. The medical examiner has not yet ruled on the manner of death, despite the police calling the incident an accident.
  • After receiving the devastating news, Utes coach Kyle Whittingham released a statement saying, “Ty’s personality and smile were infectious, and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us.”

“He leaves an indelible mark on each of us, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, all of us in the Utah football family want to say, we love you, Ty, and may you rest in peace,” he continued.

  • Jordan first gained national attention in November of 2019 when a video was taken off his high school team and visiting players praying on the field. The prayer was for Jordan’s mother, Tiffany Jordan, who had lost her battle to lung and bone cancer in mid-August. After the video went viral, Jordan told the media he always aspired to make his mother proud.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jordan’s family and friends during this challenging time.

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black Alerts and the host of Boss Mornings and Unmuted Nation. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

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Yvonne Orji apologizes to fan after sharing encounter at women’s empowerment event

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“I’m saddened that’s how you left the event feeling after an encounter with me,” the ‘Insecure’ actress responded.

Insecure actress Yvonne Orji has responded to being called out on Twitter by a fan who recalled her “rudeâ€� encounter with the star at an event. 

It all started when Twitter user Crystal with the handle @thecrystaluncut responded to another user who asked: “who was the ‘meanest’ celeb you’ve ever met?�

In a series of tweets, Crystal recounted an encounter she had with Orji at a Women’s Empowerment event, writing: “I met Yvonne Orji at a WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE. She was about to give her speech and I asked for a pic while she was waiting. She said no. I respect her privacy, move on and take my seat in the front row.

She continues, “She gets to the part of her speech about being persistent. She’s like ‘I only got to where I got because I never took no for an answer.’

And then she gestures over to me and says something like, ‘That girl wanted a picture with me, but I said no. If she were more intentional about what she wants, maybe she’d have her pic.’

Crystal added, “In the moment I was like uhh that was rude. I thought she might come up to me and be like oh I was joking and take the pic but no. That put a bad taste in my mouth about her forever. And I didn’t even want the pic that bad! I just thought it would be cool to post on my story.�

In a separate tweet, she went on to say… “One last thing — I had JUST read Gabrielle Union’s first book. There’s a part where she stepped away from dinner with her friend who was dying of cancer to take a pic w a fan and she still regrets it. So I was trying to be extra sensitive I was proud for walking away so quickly.”

Crystal shared a video of the moment Orji called her out from the stage at the event, and noted in the caption: “My words were not correct in the first tweet (I knew I didn’t remember exactly, as indicated by me saying she said “something like�) and she did not call me “that girl.� Yet STILL somehow the actual video is more painful. Why is she pointing?!�

Orji caught wind of Crystal’s tweeter thread and responded “Hey Crystal, I’m saddened that’s how you left the event feeling after an encounter with me. Truly wasn’t my intention to make you feel anything less than the beautiful woman you are.�

Black Twitter wasn’t feeling Orji’s response and wasted no time putting the Nigerian-American actress on blast. 

One user replied: “Lmao how did you come to the conclusion she felt “less than beautiful”?â€�

Another wrote, “When does “No� actually mean no with you guys. Then go ahead to make an example of her because she respected your choice.�

A third joked, “Yvonne Orji said if you want a pic with her you need to put it in your manifestation journal.�

The 2020 MAKERS Conference - Day Two
Yvonne Orji / Getty

Another Twitter user commented, “Persistence isn’t when you seek PERMISSION for a picture and the answer is NO. That is CONSENT. Any “persistence” in your case can be termed HARRASSMENT & any sensible person would also walk away. Yet u decided to used her as an example? Wow! Sorry but you are mean. Pls own it.â€�

Twitter user @kirasadhana noted that had Crystal persisted for a photo, “Orji would probably have requested intervention by security. Worse, the message being left behind muddies the water around what clear boundaries are. Can’t have it both ways.â€�

In related news, Orji has been tapped to host Amazon’s second Yearly Departed comedy special, which is set to premiere in December. Per THR, the lineup of comedians will be announced later.

“In my career, I’ve been fortunate to work on a show that was created by Blacks, for Black characters, and now, I get to host a special that was written by all women, featuring a lineup of incredibly funny female comedians, directed by a talented female director, and produced by a group of amazing female producers,� said Orji. “I guess lightning CAN strike twice.�

Added Vernon Sanders, head of television at Amazon Studios, “With another chaotic year of ups and downs almost behind us, we’re ready to say goodbye to 2021 — and who better to send the year off than the funniest women in the business. Yvonne, Rachel (executive producer Rachel Brosnahan), and the entire team will help Prime Video viewers end 2021 with some much-needed laughter.�

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture� podcast? Download our newest episodes now! TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today

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Arizona man says he fatally shot estranged wife, infant daughter due to ‘deal with spirit’

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Investigators say the woman was a longtime victim of domestic abuse and that her husband admitted he’s struggled with mental illness.

An Arizona mother and her 11-year-old daughter are dead after being shot and killed by their husband and father. FOX News in Phoenix reports that a lengthy history of domestic violence and possible mental illness led to the tragedy. 

Per Phoenix Police, the incident happened just before 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4. Louis Mouton III, 34, reportedly went to speak with his estranged wife, Lanae Mouton, 32, at her home about the state of their relationship. Lanae walked back into the house with their 11-month-old daughter Ava after the conversation ended. That’s when investigators say Louis did the unthinkable.

“The male kicked in the door and fired several shots. The female and their 11-month-old child both were struck,” Sgt. Vincent Cole said. The victims were transported to a nearby hospital where they died from their injuries.

“The loss of a child…many of the first responders you see out here, we’re fathers and mothers ourselves,” Sgt. Cole continued. “So dealing with something like that, it can be a life-changing traumatic event for first responders.”

Louis was arrested near the scene of the crime and immediately booked. He’s now facing burglary charges, along with first-degree murder charges. His bail is set at $2 million.

One neighbor says she saw no signs of anything amiss in the family.

“It’s sad. The wife used to bring us milk and cereal and stuff like that. I used to talk to her husband,” the neighbor told reporters.

According to AZFamily, the couple were high school sweethearts who had been together for more than 16 years and shared four children.

But Louis’ suspected mental illness is believed to be a contributing factor. When police discovered him at the scene of the crime, they said he was yelling that “they made him do it.�

“Louis admitted afterwards he attempted to shoot himself and commit suicide but the handgun was empty,” court documents read. “Louis exited the apartment and was contacted by responding officers in the parking lot. Louis told investigators he suffered from schizophrenia.

“He saw and heard spirits and aliens and was frequently possessed by them. They used his body to do actions he could not control. Louis said he made a deal with a spirit that he and his wife could be together forever but they had to die.”

He also told investigators that his wife was supposed to die but his daughter was not, adding that he “didn’t agree to his daughter being killed in the deal he made with the spirit.â€�

Family members say Louis was abusive. Lanae’s brother, Robert Wheatley, told reporters he’s dealing with a number of emotions.

“It’s anger. It was pain. When they told me that she was shot, it was fear,” he said. “What else could I have done? What could we have done different? Where could we have had more impact?”

They also say Louis never took no for an answer. “He always needed one more talk. There was nothing left to talk about, but he always needed one more talk, and she always let him have one more talk,” Lanae’s mother Kathy Wheatley said. 

It’s been a difficult situation for Lanae’s twin sister, Lauren Riley, to accept.

“It was hard. I just laid down on the floor. I couldn’t even stand up. Couldn’t process it, couldn’t believe it. It’s a lot, you know. She’s always been a part of me,” she said.

Lanae’s family told AZFamily that they hoped her death might help other women trapped in the cycle of domestic violence and other familes who see it going on.

“‘It’s their relationship. We’re not going to get in the middle of it,’” a family member said. “No, we got to get in the middle of it. We have to stop this type of behavior.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Cultureâ€� podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
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D.C. father pleads for help after he and daughters are hit by car walking to school

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A GoFundMe account the father set up has raised more than $50,000.

A D.C. father is experiencing the unthinkable after he and his two daughters were hit by a car walking to school. The moment left all three traumatized, said father Tyrone Belton.

“I looked to my left, I just saw the front of the Jeep — it just rammed me,� Belton said in an interview with WTOP. “I really thought my kids made it across the street.� He quickly realized 8-year-old Faith and 6-year-old Heavyn were also hit. Ironically, the incident occurred on Wednesday, Oct. 6, which is National Walk to School Day.

Belton has a broken ankle, and Faith a broken leg. Heavyn’s injuries, however, are more severe: She will require surgeries for facial injuries. Currently, all three are home and recovering, but Belton is trying his hardest to help his girls recover emotionally.Â

“It’s kind of hard to see them like that. They literally will put a smile on your face, and you don’t even have to know them,� he said. “They will light up your world. I’m hurt, as a man, so I can just imagine what my kids are going through.�

Belton said his daughter’s have changed for the worse because of the accident, including signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and a fear to go outside. She prefers to be at her grandmother’s house, “She’s got all her cousins over there, to comfort her,â€� Belton explained.

DC crosswalk screenshot (Credit: WUSA video)

“I just want to be able to give them whatever they need, and let them be able to do whatever they want to try to take their mind off things. Even if it’s just for the moment. I just want to see them smile again.�

Belton set up a GoFundMe page to help cover medical costs and other expenses for the girls. Currently, he’s raised more than $50,000, far exceeding his $5,000 goal. He says the financial donations will help him pay for some temporary distractions for his girls.

He’s unable to work right now due to the accident, but said he’s by the generosity people have shown.

“Truly, I appreciate all that love they’ve been showing my kids,” he said. “I’ve never seen that from just random people, who don’t even know me or my kids. I honestly felt more good about reading all the comments than seeing the money. Just reading those comments — I felt it in my spirit.â€�

The driver of the Jeep was charged at the scene with several violations.

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