Posted by Jerry HinnenNorthern Illinois junior linebacker Devon Butler is currently listed in critical condition after having been shot in an incident late Tuesday night.
The DeKalb (Ill.) Daily Chronicle is reporting that police have taken two suspects into custody after being called to a DeKalb apartment complex just before midnight. Witnesses reported two to three gunshots fired in the apartment building, and today NIU officials confirmed that Butler had subsequently been transported to an area hospital for treatment.
An official statement from first-year NIU head coach Dave Doeren is forthcoming. Butler earned third-team All-MAC honors in 2010 after finishing second on the Huskies with 71 tackles.
UPDATE: Both DeKalb police and the NIU athletic department have issued statements on Butler's situation, the former illustrating the nature of ths shooting. It reads in part:
DeKalb investigators determined that shots were fired from a vehicle at Apartment 3, 1009 Aspen Drive. One of those shots penetrated the window in Apartment #3 and struck Northern Illinois junior linebacker Devon Butler, a visitor at the apartment.
DeKalb investigators determined Apartment #3 at 1009 Aspen Drive was targeted as a result of a drug transaction that occurred earlier Tuesday. DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen emphasized that there is no indication that NIU student Devon Butler had any knowledge of nor was involved or present during that drug transaction earlier in the day. Devon Butler arrived at the apartment late Tuesday evening to meet with friends.
The DeKalb police investigation is proceeding quickly and two suspects are now in custody and charged with attempted first degree murder (Class X felony), aggravated battery with a firearm (Class X felony), aggravated discharge of a firearm (Class 1 felony), and unlawful delivery of cannabis (Class 4 felony).
The bullet struck Butler "on the right side of his back," according the Feithen. In the only piece of good news to come out of this situation to date, Feithen also said he was "cautiously optimistic" Butler would recover.
"All our thoughts and prayers as a team and as a coaching staff right now are with Devon ... He’s a member of our family and the most important thing is his health.”
NIU athletic director Jeff Compher:
“As an athletic department and as a university, I know that we are going to support Devon, his family and his teammates in every way we can" ... “Our primary focus is on all of our student-athletes at this time.”