Watts still in critical condition

By Jennifer Amsler
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A UA football player remained in critical but stable condition last night after being shot at a party early Sunday morning.

Sheldon Watts, a pre-business freshman, was taken to University Medical Center after being shot in the chest and arm, police reports stated.

"We take this very serious," said Jim Livengood, UA director of athletics at a press conference yesterday morning.

Watts, 18, a redshirt offensive guard for the football team, was at a house party at South Alamo Avenue and East Fourteenth Street when a confrontation broke out around 2 a.m. Sunday. The confrontation moved outside and gunshots were fired soon after, according to police reports.

Police are still investigating whether Watts was involved in the confrontation in any way, but as of now, police say he was just a bystander.

"We are cooperating in every way with the police investigation," Livengood said.

Mike Stoops, head football coach, said Watts is improving.

''Sheldon is doing better,'' Stoops said. ''He seems to be progressing well. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sheldon. It has been an unbelievably tough situation.''

Names of others involved in the shooting had not been released last night, but Marco Borboa, Tucson Police Department spokesman, said at least three other redshirt football players were at the party.

Linebacker Randy Sims, a psychology junior, said he was disappointed to hear the news about Watts.

"He's a good guy, doesn't start any trouble, a great football player and a great person to be around," Sims said.

Sims said he thinks Watt's injury will help unite the team. Even though Watts is just a freshman, Sims said all the players have a sense of camaraderie.

"We came together in this incident," he said.

Watts, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound player from Fresno, Texas was one of seven Houston-area football recruits this year.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report