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Prosecutor: LSU players appeared justified in fatal shooting

(AP Photo/Michael Woods)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) A prosecutor says two LSU football players appear to have responded with justifiable force when they fatally shot an 18-year-old man who was allegedly trying to rob them at gunpoint.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore tells The Associated Press that the investigation is still in the preliminary stages and that authorities are not prepared to say whether it was sophomore running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire or freshman linebacker Jared Small who fired the shots that killed Kobe Johnson. Baton Rouge police have said the Dec. 22 shooting occurred off campus, where the players were trying to sell an electronic item. Johnson was not an LSU student.

The players traveled with LSU to the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, and were in uniform for Tuesday's game against Central Florida. Edwards-Helaire took the game's opening kickoff 77 yards to set up an LSU field goal.

Edwards-Helaire, a Baton Rouge native, has rushed for 626 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games this season. Small, a freshman who also is from Baton Rouge, has played sparingly.

The shooting was the second involving an LSU athlete since late September, when Tigers basketball player Wayde Sims, also a Baton Rouge native, was killed by gunfire on a street near Southern University's campus while trying to defend a friend involved in a fight.

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Updated January 1, 2019

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