Vanderbilt Football: Two players shot trying to recover stolen phone

Two Vanderbilt football players were injured Monday in an attempt to recover a stolen cell phone and it did not go as planned.

Testosterone, athleticism and too much free time can lead to bad decisions. Three Vanderbilt football players, in a noble attempt at civilian justice, tried to recover one of the player’s stolen iPhones. While you have to admire their bravery, it may have been better to get the police involved as two of the three men got shot in the attempt.

Luckily, their injuries were minor but it could have ended very, very badly. According to The Nashville Tennesseean:

The shooting, which took place at the store at on White Bridge Road, stemmed from an arranged meeting between two groups — a trio of football players and the thieves who Metro police say stole the phone and fired the shots. Both groups brought weapons, police said, although one side — the players — had only a pellet gun. As of Tuesday, the shooting suspects remained at large and both injured players were expected to recover, police spokesman Don Aaron said.”

Here is the backstory. Vanderbilt wide receiver Donaven Tennyson tried to sell his iPhone 6S on the internet. He went to meet the buyer, who then proceeded to steal the phone. The thief, kind of a dullard apparently, immediately put the purloined phone up for sale online.

Tennyson was then able to track down the crook and arranged a meeting. He asked two of his teammates, defensive back Tae Daley and cornerback Frank Coppet, to help him recover the phone. The three decided that their size and a pellet gun would be enough to deter and further criminal activity. They were wrong.

Coppet emerged from the car with the pellet gun and the suspects in the other car started shooting at them with real firearms — namely, a handgun and shotgun. Daley and Coppet were both wounded, but the injuries were minor.

Vanderbilt released the following statement about the case:

“Our foremost concern is the well-being of our students, but it appears their injuries are not life-threatening. The University is monitoring the situation and will determine if any action on the part of the university is appropriate.”

Nashville police are still investigating the incident and the suspects are still at large.

Anyone with information about the suspects or the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. Electronic tips may also be sent to Crime Stoppers by texting the word “CASH” along with a message to 274637 or online at

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