Idaho WR fatally shot in Los Angeles

A 22-year-old University of Idaho football player was fatally shot at a weekend party in Los Angeles, authorities said.

Detectives were trying to determine a motive and a suspect in the early Sunday death of Ken McRoyal of Carson, who was killed while attending a photo shoot to promote a new woman’s clothing line, police said. A second man was wounded and treated at a hospital.

”Whether he was invited or not, we don’t know,” said Detective Victor Marin.

Early police reports indicated McRoyal was shot when he got into an argument with a group, but Marin said investigators hadn’t confirmed whether there was any altercation.

Investigators planned to interview the 40 to 50 people who attended the party, Marin said.

The event was held at the Brewery Arts Complex, a former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery near the Los Angeles River that has been converted into artists’ lofts and is frequently used as a filming location.

McRoyal, a wide receiver, caught six passes for 35 yards in eight games for the university in 2011. He was a native of New Orleans and moved with his family to California after Hurricane Katrina.

He attended high school in suburban Carson and transferred from El Camino College in Torrance to the University of Idaho last fall. Idaho coach Robb Akey said Sunday that McRoyal’s loss is devastating.

”We’ve lost a brother, a teammate, a family member,” Akey said. ”But, more importantly, a momma lost her son today.”

Akey told The Spokesman-Review the last time he spoke with McRoyal, he shared his excitement about earning a scholarship for the 2012 season after walking on a year earlier. He played the two previous seasons at El Camino Junior College.

”I can still see the smile on his face,” Akey said.

Akey called the team captains and assistants notified the other players of the shooting.

”They’re our kids, our family, however you want to (put) it,” Akey said. ”Having a family, I’ve got to make sure they all know we love them. And I’m so glad I was able to tell K that when he left town – those were probably the last words out of my mouth when I said goodbye to him.”

Idaho quarterback Dominique Blackman said McRoyal was a cousin and best friend.

”They took somebody who meant a lot to our family and not only to our family but to a lot, to college football, to this community,” Blackman told KCAL-TV.

Blackman said McRoyal texted him just minutes before the shooting.

”I was the last person he talked to … telling me where he’s at and saying to come to Hollywood, but I wasn’t there for him. I told him I couldn’t find a ride.”