Document sheds light on shooting death of basketball recruit

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — College basketball recruit Fedonta White pleaded with friends to help him survive after being shot in an altercation at a house party on the outskirts of Santa Fe.

He also named the person who shot him before departing for a hospital where he would die, according to a summary of interviews with witnesses released Tuesday by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.

The document sheds light on the events surrounding the death of a standout athlete that has led to an outpouring of grief and public appeals for parents and youths to take a more active role in preventing gun violence.

The “probable cause” statement cites multiple direct and indirect witnesses to the shooting that has led to murder and criminal weapons charges against a detained 16-year-old Santa Fe resident. Names are blacked out of witnesses who were interviewed by investigators from the sheriff’s department.

An attorney for the defendant could not immediately be reached by phone or email. The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles who are accused of crimes.

A hearing is scheduled in state district court next week as prosecutors have vowed to pursue adult sanctions.

Summarized accounts of events before the shooting describe a “small get-together of friends” that grew in numbers amid scuffles between revelers — and eventually gunshots at 3:30 a.m. Saturday that scattered the crowd.

The parents of the hosts were not present. New Mexico is under a stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic that bans public gatherings of more than four people.

Multiple witnesses saw White get into a brief physical altercation with someone who pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired while moving at a run.

At age 18, White was scheduled to play basketball for the University of New Mexico on a scholarship later this year.

The 6-foot-8-inch forward for the Santa Fe High School Demons was a real life “Hoop Dreams" figure who lived with his grandmother and averaged 20 points a game during the 2019-2020 season, amid a cross-town rivalry with Capital High School that drew overflow crowds.