Larry Stewart, a basketball star in his days at Coppin State College who now plays for the Washington Bullets, was shot and stabbed by four intruders who broke into his Relay home early today and tied him up.
Mr. Stewart was taken to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.Dr. Roy A. M. Myers, the surgeon who operated on Mr. Stewart this morning, said he will recover fully from his wounds.
A Baltimore County police spokesman said the intruders ransacked the home, in the 900 block Oakmoor Drive, where Mr. Stewart was sleeping, and fled after shooting him in the neck and stabbing the 24-year-old athlete in the thigh.
Police believe the intruders specifically targeted Mr. Stewart. Theycould not determine this morning if anything was stolen.
Police said they were called to the home at 4:30 a.m. in a development that is near Relay Elementary School.
Dr. Myers said Mr. Stewart was shot in the back of the neck, with the bullet entering from the left side of the back of the neck and missing his spinal cord by one inch.
The bullet went clean through the neck, requiring the doctor to simply clean out the wound and let it drain. Mr. Stewart's neck will be stiff for a while, but he will have no permanent disability, said Dr. Myers.
A friend and agent of Mr. Stewart, Merle Scott, said Mr. Stewart attended a basketball game last night, then returned to his home alone. His intruders tied him up, then stabbed and shot him, said both Mr. Scott and Dr. Myers.
"He was extremely lucky," said Dr. Myers.
The thigh wound, about one inch deep, required only a few stiches, he added.
Mr. Stewart joined the Bullets in the 1991-92 basketball season. The 6-foot, 8-inch, 230-pound forward was awaiting surgery on a broken foot, however, and has not played recently.
"I was shocked, dismayed," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld.
"I understand random acts of violence that go on, and sometimes it's
surprising that guys like him and guys like me aren't targeted more. It's a big relief to everyone here that he is going to be OK."
"I was called at 8 o'clock this morning and I was shocked and upset," said Bullets guard Doug Overton, a high school teammate of Stewart's at Dobbins Tech in Philadelphia. "I just want to make sure he is going to be all right. Something like this puts things into perspective."