The teenage daughter of U.S. Olympian Tyson Gay has died after an early morning shooting in Lexington, Kentucky and police have arrested one man in connection with the crime.
Gay, a former world 100-meter and 200-meter champion, confirmed the death of his 15-year-old daughter Trinity to CNN-affiliate WLEX.
“She didn’t make it. I’m so confused,” Gay told WLEX Sports Director Alan Cutler. “She was just here last week for fall break. It’s so crazy. I have no idea what happened.”
Early morning shooting
The events that took Trinity’s life occurred around 4 a.m. Sunday, according to Lexington police. They said a group of men in two cars opened fire on each other in the parking lot of a Cook Out restaurant. Trinity was shot in the neck. Police said she was not a passenger in either of the vehicles.
The men who were firing on each other fled the scene.
Gay was taken to UK Hospital in a private vehicle, where she later died, police said.
Lexington police located one of the two cars involved in the shootout — a gray Dodge Charger — within a few hours of the incident, and detained two people for questioning. Authorities arrested 21-year-old Dvonta Middlebrooks on Sunday afternoon. Police believe he was in the parking lot when the shooting occurred and fired multiple shots.
He has been charged with wanton endangerment and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Another man who was questioned by police has not been charged, according to a police statement.
Police are still looking for the second vehicle, which witnesses described as a dark sports car with tinted windows.
Like father, like daughter
Gay, a native of Lexington, is the second fastest man to run the 100-meter in history, behind Usain Bolt. Gay ran the 100-meter in 9.69 seconds in 2009, matching Bolt’s gold-winning effort at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Gay won gold medals in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4×100-meter relay at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan. He won a silver medal for the 4×100-meter relay at the 2012 Olympic games in London, but had to return it when he tested positive for a prohibited anabolic steroid at the U.S. Championships in 2013. Gay received a one-year ban from the U.S. Doping Agency in 2014.
Trinity was a rising track star herself. She attended Lafayette High School in Lexington and was a sprinter on the school’s track team, according to CNN affiliate WKYT.
During a 2012 interview with CNN’s “Aiming for Gold” show, Gay spoke of his daughter’s athletic aspirations and his desire to nurture them. “I’m at a point where I want to be involved in more of her sports,” he said. “It was pretty amazing to watch her run and compete and still keep her spirits up high when she didn’t win.”
“In that sense, I am trying to balance my time so I can watch her career and I can finish up my career,” Gay said.
‘Our hearts are broken’
Condolences poured in from friends and associates of both father and daughter.
“Our hearts are broken this morning over the loss of Trinity to this tragic and senseless act of violence,” Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said in a statement. “Please join us in keeping the Gay family close in thought and prayer and supporting the students, staff and families at Lafayette High during this unspeakably difficult time.”
The school system has activated a Crisis Team, which will be at Lafayette High School on Monday to offer counseling and support to students and staff.
Local schools and track teams expressed their grief over Trinity’s death.
Athletes and Olympians also expressed their condolences on social media.
Tyson Gay is flying back to Lexington on Sunday.
An autopsy will be conducted on Trinity Gay Monday morning.