Another Duquesne suspect arrested

Holmes turns himself in to police

Dukes players return to campus life

September 21, 2006

With two teammates still lying in hospital beds, Duquesne University's basketball team tried to return to normal yesterday, three days after five players were shot during a terrifying outburst of gunfire that followed a school dance.

The players went to class, lifted weights and were scheduled to work out later in the day.

On Tuesday, police arrested Brandon Baynes, 18, of Penn Hills, Pa., on five counts of criminal attempted homicide. William Holmes, 18, also of Penn Hills, turned himself in yesterday, police said. He was to be arraigned on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and weapons-related offenses.

Attorney Giuseppe G.C. Rosselli, whose firm represents Holmes, said the shooting was "just a bad situation every way around."

"When it's all said and done, our client will be found not guilty," he said.

Duquesne president Charles J. Dougherty said he hoped the second arrest would put the university on "the road back to normalcy and back to the safety and security that we have known for years on our campus."

On campus, as team members tried to return to their routines, their thoughts were with their hospitalized teammates.

The Dukes were encouraged that junior forward Sam Ashaolu, the player most badly injured during the early Sunday morning shootings, was taking what coach Ron Everhart called the first "baby steps" of his hoped-for recovery.

"He's fighting like hell," Everhart said.

Ashaolu, who has one bullet and fragments of another in his head, has squeezed teammates' hands during their frequent visits at Mercy Hospital, and he seemed to respond to their words of encouragement. Ashaolu, 23, remained in critical condition but had a restful night after two difficult nights.

He was shot barely three weeks after arriving on campus after a circuitous journey to an NCAA Division I scholarship that took the Toronto, Ontario, resident through two high schools, a prep school and two junior colleges.

Stuard Baldonado, a junior forward shot in the back and left arm, had a bullet removed from a patch of muscle just below the skin in his back and already has begun his rehabilitation. He could be released from Mercy Hospital within a couple of days.

Baldonado, 21, was able to speak by phone to his parents, who live on a small island off the coast of Colombia, and an aunt flew in from Germany to sit bedside. Teammates said he was walking, laughing and in much better spirits.

Kojo Mensah, a junior guard who went through an unfriendly departure from Siena before transferring to Duquesne, was released from UPMC Presbyterian on Tuesday night. Mensah, 21, was shot in an arm and shoulder.

Some players were receiving counseling. Several players have had trouble sleeping since the shootings.

Duquesne announced yesterday that Brittany Jones, the 19-year-old Penn Hills resident accused of helping a group of young men get into the Black Student Union party Saturday night, had been suspended from school. She was arrested Monday on charges of reckless endangerment, carrying a firearm without a license and criminal conspiracy.

Jones, who transferred to Duquesne from hurricane-ravaged Xavier University of Louisiana last year, was suspended for multiple violations of the student code.

According to a criminal complaint, Jones helped six men - several of whom she knew were carrying guns - to gain admission to the dance on Duquesne's campus. Students from several nearby schools, including the University of Pittsburgh, also attended, but those in Jones' group were not college students.

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