Shooting reportedly tied to dispute between FSU teammates

The half brother of Florida State tailback Mario Pender was shot on Dec. 22.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — An argument between two Florida State football players reportedly led to a Dec. 22 shooting at a Tallahassee apartment complex that left one man shot in the head.

The incident occurred amidst a dispute between FSU tailback Mario Pender and offensive lineman Ira Denson, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. The victim, Tim Pruitt, is the half brother of Pender and was shot in the head. His current condition is unknown.

Tarron Addison, who reportedly drove Denson to the Seminole Ridge apartment complex where Pender and Pruitt lived, has been arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David Northway told on Friday afternoon that they "expect to make further arrests." He declined to say if Denson was considered a person of interest.

TPD released only the court records of the charge against Addison, 20. Northway said that TPD did not release the police report of the shooting since the investigation is ongoing, but the Democrat reported the details of the incident: Pender told TPD in December that Denson had stolen his debit card. When Pender drove to Denson’s apartment to collect the money owed, Denson was not there and Pender took Denson’s shoes as "collateral."

Then Pender and Denson agreed to meet and exchange the money and shoes. Pender told Pruitt, who was living with him in his second-floor apartment at Seminole Ridge, that he didn’t want a confrontation with Denson and instead asked Pruitt to meet him downstairs.

Pender then told TPD that he heard a loud argument and proceeded to the balcony outside his apartment. The argument continued as Pender went downstairs, and he saw Denson standing at the passenger side of the car.

After Pender directed Pruitt to leave the shoes on the car’s trunk, Addison backed the car away and then he fired a number of shots (Pender said 3-4 shots, Denson said 6 shots).

Denson told TPD that he did not steal the card but was in the car with Addison.

Pender was academically ineligible for the 2013 season, and Denson took a redshirt in the fall.

On Thursday, before news of the report broke, Fisher said that Denson’s status with the team is uncertain. He is not practicing this spring.

"Just going to school right now," Fisher said. "We’re going to evaluate how he does. Want him to do well academically. If he doesn’t we’ll have to adjust."

Fisher said that Pender has been working hard and is doing well in school.

"He’s working his tail off," Fisher said. "He just had so many personal issues with deaths in the family, issues that set him back. Mario is a highly intelligent guy. Unbelievably athletic, fast, strong.

"Mario is a very intelligent guy and I think he saw something that he loved had a chance to be taken away from him. Some his own fault, but he had some tough circumstances. He has three great years left and hopefully he’ll take advantage of it. But I’m very proud of the way he’s come through."