Los Angeles, CA – A former NBA player and all-conference college player at UCLA died Saturday from what is suspected to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a gunfight with police.
Tyler Honeycutt, 27, was identified by friends and his agent as the player who died in the standoff with police.
The Russian team that Honeycutt last played for confirmed his death on Twitter.
While officers were talking to Honeycutt, he fired a gun from inside the residence. Officers returned fire and Honeycutt barricaded himself in the home.
For several hours, police thought Honeycutt was alive, according to the LAPD’s Twitter account.
Police said on Twitter it was not known if Honeycutt was hit by police fire.
Hours later, SWAT entered and found Honeycutt unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“He was a fantastic kid,” said Bort Escoto, who was the high school coach of Honeycutt and had been in contact with Honeycutt and his mother, according to the Los Angeles Times. “He was a great kid to be around. But he was having some problems. … From what I know, he shot himself.”
Escoto said he last spoke to Honeycutt at 4 p.m. Friday. Escoto said it appeared Honeycutt was burdened with something. When Honeycutt’s mother called Escoto and said her son was acting erratically, he told her to call 911.
After Honeycutt had barricaded himself in the Sherman Oaks home, Escoto texted him to ask whether he was OK. Honeycutt responded with just a “K,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
At 4:45 a.m. Saturday, Honeycutt’s mother called Escoto and told him her son had taken his own life.
Honeycutt was supposed to sign a new contract Saturday with a team from Russia or Israel. Honeycutt didn’t enjoy playing overseas, according to Escoto.
“It’s hard for an L.A. kid to go to Russia, not know the language or surroundings,” Escoto told the Los Angeles Times. “He was basically having a hard time with the adjustment. I just kept telling him he needed to get out and meet people.”
Honeycutt played two years at UCLA and was a first-team all-conference selection his sophomore year. He declared for the NBA draft after the 2010-11 season. Honeycutt was a second-round draft pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2011. He played two years before going overseas in Israel, Turkey and Russia.