Alabama men's basketball star Brandon Miller brought the gun used in a fatal January shooting near the Tuscaloosa campus to former teammate Darius Miles prior to the incident taking place, an investigator testified on Tuesday (February 21) via the Associated Press.
Miller brought Miles' gun to him on January 15, the night of the shooting incident, after receiving a text from Miles asking him to do so, according to Tuscaloosa Police investigator Brandon Culpepper. Miller's reported involvement in the incident was revealed during a preliminary hearing for Miles and Michael Davis, both of whom face capital murder charges in relation to the the death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris.
Miles, who was dismissed from the Alabama men's basketball team following news of his charges, is accused of providing his gun to Davis, who is accused of firing it and killing Harris, according to prosecutors. Alabama men's basketball coach Nate Oats told reporters that the team was aware that Miller, who was not criminally charged, allegedly gave Miles the gun prior to the incident but didn't plan any disciplinary action for the freshman, who is currently leading the Tide with 18.7 points per game and has started in every game since the shooting took place.
Oats added that Miller was in "the wrong spot at the wrong time," before later clarifying the "unfortunate remarks" amid social media backlash.
“We’ve known the situation,” Oats said in a news conference Tuesday via the AP. “We’ve been fully cooperating with law enforcement the entire time. I mean, the whole situation is just sad. The team closed practice with a prayer for the situation today, knowing that we had this trial today. You think of Jamea and her family,” Oats said.
Investigators said Miles admitted to providing the handgun moments before it was fired by another man and resulted in the death of Harris.
"At this time, it appears that the only motive was a minor altercation that these individuals had with the victim as they were out on The Strip,'' said Tuscaloosa Police Captain Jack Kennedy during a news conference Sunday evening, adding that the two men didn't have a previous relationship with Harris.
The driver of another vehicle, in which Harris was a passenger, made contact with University of Alabama campus police at 1:45 a.m. and said someone had shot into the vehicle and he fired back. One of the two suspects were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a nearby hospital, according to Kennedy, who declined to identify who it was or which of the two men fired the gun.
Neither Harris nor the driver were believed to be affiliated with the University of Alabama, according to Kennedy. A video shared by AL.com shows Miles saying, "I swear...I love you more than you imagine," while being escorted into a police vehicle by officers.
A Tuscaloosa County Jail official told ESPN that Miles was booked into the facility at around 6:45 p.m on January 15. The incident took place hours after No. 4 Alabama had announced that Miles was ruled out for the remainder of the 2022-23 season due to an ankle injury ahead of its 106-66 win against LSU.
The University of Alabama confirmed that the junior reserve forward was no longer part of the men's basketball team and had "been removed from campus" in a statement obtained by ESPN after the incident took place.
"The University of Alabama's utmost priority is the safety and well-being of the campus community,'' the statement read. "We are grieved by the incident that occurred near campus last night and extend our deepest condolences to the victim's family and friends.''
Miles played in six games for No. 4 Alabama during the 2022-23 season, which included scoring two points in his last appearance during the Crimson Tide's 84-64 win against Jackson State on December 20.