INDIANAPOLIS - Jamaal Tinsley will meet today with team president Larry Bird and coach Jim O'Brien following a shooting incident in which the player was shot at but not injured early yesterday morning. It was Tinsley's third late-night episode in about 14 months.
Tinsley and several companions were targeted in the shooting that wounded one person outside a downtown hotel. Tinsley didn't practice yesterday, but according to the team Web site, Pacers.com, he is scheduled to meet with Bird and O'Brien to discuss the team's course of action. The Pacers play Cleveland tomorrow night.
"This is something we can't just put right behind us and walk away from," Bird told Pacers.com. "It's something we'll have to discuss. . . . We have to make a change, there's no question about it."
Police said the shooting involved a .223-caliber assault rifle and followed a confrontation when Tinsley and his companions were leaving the Cloud 9 club.
Tinsley's group had arrived at the club in three cars owned by the player. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Paul Thompson said a group of people gathered around Tinsley's Rolls-Royce and gave Tinsley a hard time about his cars and his earnings.
After Tinsley and his entourage left, they realized they were being followed by a gray Chrysler and a dark pickup truck, Thompson said.
Instead of going home, Tinsley's group pulled into the Conrad Hotel, a downtown luxury hotel, where the shooting began. Police were called to the hotel at about 3:40 a.m.
Joey Qatato, identified as the team's equipment manager on the Pacers' Web site, was struck in both elbows as he sat with Tinsley in the player's Rolls-Royce. Qatato, 48, was treated at Methodist Hospital and released.
Yesterday's shooting is the latest in a string of violent crimes targeting professional athletes, including Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor. He died Nov. 27, a day after he was shot in the bedroom of his Florida home.
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