BR Police looking for person with red pants, gray shirt shown toward end of Sims' video

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LSU Tigers forward Wayde Sims (44) on the court against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at Stegeman Coliseum. UGA defeated LSU 82-80.

BATON ROUGE — LSU basketball player Wayde Sims was to begin practice for his junior season on Friday afternoon.

But Sims, who was Louisiana's Gatorade Player of the year while at University High in Baton Rouge in 2015 and the son of former LSU forward Wayne Sims, was shot to death near the Southern University campus after midnight Friday.

"This is your worst nightmare as a coach," LSU basketball coach Will Wade said in a press conference Friday morning at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. "We want to remember Wayde and what a great person he was. Everybody liked him, loved his personality. He was just a blast to be around at all times. We are all devastated. We need your prayers for Wayde, for his family, for all of us. We are heartbroken."

Sims is believed to be the first active LSU athlete ever shot to death.

Baton Rouge Police said Sims, 20, was shot at about 12:25 a.m. outside a Subway restaurant at 668 Harding Blvd. that typically closes at 9 p.m. He was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Wade was at the hospital early Friday and spent the remaining hours with Sims' family after he passed away. He met with the LSU team at about 6:30 a.m.

Video of Sims' shooting — above — from cellphone was released by Baton Rouge Police on Friday so the public can help to identify the people in the video. Sims is in a white T-Shirt with his back at the center of the screen early in the video as a fight breaks out.

Police are particularly interested in a man on the right side of the screen wearing red pants with a white stripe and a gray shirt who appears late in the video. Anyone with information and who can identify anyone in the video are asked to call the Baton Rouge Police's Violent Crime Unit at 225-389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.

"We need information to help lead us to the individual or individuals responsible for taking Wayde Sims' life," Baton Rouge Police spokesman, Sgt. Don Coppola Jr., told the USA Today Network on Friday.

Coppola said he did not know if any of Sims' teammates from the LSU basketball team were with him at the time of the shooting last night or in the video. There does not appear to be any other players in the video.

The person who filmed the incident appears to be a bystander, Coppola said.

"The investigation remains ongoing," Coppola said.

"There's no lower downs than what happened last night," LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said at the press conference. "It is an absolute tragedy. In 40 years in athletics, this may be the saddest day that I've ever experienced in my career. I told the players they'll never forget this day."

A 6-foot-6 forward who averaged 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds last season mainly as a backup, Sims may have remained a backup as the 2018-19 LSU team will have a major influx of talent this season with the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation coming on board. But Wade said Sims was improving and was very impressed with him during the off-season.

"He was on an upward trajectory," Wade said. "He was on a big-time upward trajectory."

Sims averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman at LSU in the 2016-17 season. He helped to lead University High to three state championships in 2014, '15 and '16. Sims averaged 21.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists a game as a senior in the 2015-16 season. He was named the MVP of the state top 28 playoff tournament twice.

"I don't know a whole lot about he details at this time," Wade said. "You tell your players to stay away from these situations."

Sims' father, Wayne Sims, was part of the Tigers' Southeastern Conference championship team in 1991 under coach Dale Brown with Shaquille O'Neal that finished 20-10 overall and 13-5 in the league and reached the NCAA Tournament. He also played with Chris Jackson from 1988 to '90 and went to four NCAA Tournaments in all.

After news of Sims' death broke Friday, the family of the late Billy Cannon — LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner — canceled the unveiling of the Billy Cannon statue at Tiger Stadium set for 6:30 p.m. Friday night.

LSU also will have a moment of silence for Sims before the LSU-Ole Miss football game Saturday night, which will kick off at 8:15 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.

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