You can take the thug out of the hood but you can’t take the hood out of the thug. A recurring and stupid phenomenon is how young athletes – almost always black – manage to escape their early surroundings to money and fame yet are often unwilling to sever ties with the past to begin a new life. So it is that 23 year old Bryce Dejean-Jones, a guard for the NBA New Orleans Pelicans was sent to his great reward after being shot while breaking into an apartment – the wrong one at that.

As reported by ESPN “Bryce Dejean-Jones killed while breaking into Dallas apartment”:

New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment early Saturday, authorities said.

Dejean-Jones’ agent, Scott Nichols, said his client died after a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

According to Dallas police, officers responded to a call about a shooting at Camden Belmont Apartments around 3:20 a.m. Saturday morning. The resident of an apartment there said an individual had kicked open his front door and entered. The resident, who had been asleep, retrieved a handgun and called out to the individual but did not receive an answer. The individual kicked the bedroom door and the resident fired his gun through the door, striking him.

Officers who responded found Dejean-Jones collapsed in an outdoor passageway, and he later died at a hospital. Police at that point identified him as Dejean-Jones. He was 23.

According to an email that the apartment complex sent to its residents Saturday morning, the individual was “believed to be breaking into the apartment of an estranged acquaintance [but] inadvertently broke into the wrong apartment.”

Dejean-Jones was visiting his girlfriend in Dallas for his daughter’s first birthday, which was Saturday, according to Nichols. He said the girlfriend returned to the apartment first while Dejean-Jones went for a walk after they had gone out.

“He went to the wrong apartment unfortunately and I think he thought his girlfriend locked him out, so he was knocking on the door, banging on the door, it’s locked,” Nichols told the Associated Press. “So one thing led to another.”

Sources told ESPN that Dejean-Jones was involved in an argument with the child’s mother before the shooting.

The departed not only should have refrained from kicking down the door – which is a criminal act – but more importantly should have been smart enough to avoid kicking in the wrong door. Such a thing will often lead to one getting shot, especially in Texas where folks are armed to the teeth. Toxicology reports should be able to tell whether Jones was under the influence which would come as no surprise. He had a history of trouble leading to a college career in which he bounced from USC to UNLV to Iowa State and that tendency led to his premature dirt nap.

As for the Pelicans they have a roster hole to fill, the NBA draft will be held on June 23rd and they pick sixth.