ONTARIO — Multiple communities are in mourning today, as the Chukars Men’s Basketball team lost one of its guards this weekend, after he was shot to death while home in Las Vegas.
Kieron Hatchett, 23, was a sophomore at Treasure Valley Community College, having come onto the team as a redshirt freshman in 2017-18, having ran track in his first year. He attended Cimarron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas. While most of the basketball players aren’t back on the TVCC campus yet, they will be soon, and plans are underway to do something to honor Hatchett.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of TVCC student Kieron Hatchett,” wrote TVCC spokeswoman Abby Lee in an email to the Argus this morning.
While college officials have few details surrounding his death, they are aware, having just found out on Monday, she said.
“He was such a sweet kid,” Lee said.
His personality on and off the court was indeed a highlight that many people remember.
“Kieron was a terrific competitor who was loved by his teammates and coaches,” said Andy award, TVCC athletics director and men’s head basketball coach. “He was a very good player and student, but he was an even better person.”
Daryl Branham, who coaches the Spartans at Cimarron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas, offered comments to the newspaper regarding the school’s former player. Branham, who started at the school when Hatchett was a junior, said Hatchett played basketball for four years in high school and also participated in track, performing the long and triple jump in his junior and senior years. The track experience was at the recommendation of his coach to expand his horizons (as well as opportunities for scholarships). He could get off the floor quicker, and he was a good jumper, too, Branham said.
But it wasn’t just on the court that Hatchett was impressing people.
“He was just a great kid. He was always very respectful and cared about what people think,” Branham said. “He tried not to disrupt things or create waves. He was just a very good hard-working and respectful kid and a lot of things that you don’t see in kids these days.”
The high school coach said he believes basketball was Hatchett’s first love, and it was that love that landed him a scholarship to play for TVCC. The high school coach said students at the school are still reeling from the news, too, as there are still “quite a few kids that knew him” attending.
Branham knew one of the other shooting victims that was with Hatchett that night, and said the two were good friends and were not known to fight, talk crap or anything like that.
“It’s just a tremendous loss. I hate to see kids with a bright future taken away for something just senseless,” he said. “Who knows what it was even over.”
Hatchett was not named by police officers who provided information to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for an article on Monday. However, a representative with the Clark County Office of the Coroner and Medical Examiner, confirmed with the newspaper Tuesday morning that Hatchett was the person who died of gunshot wounds to the head, and that the matter of death was homicide.
A news release sent to the Nevada newspaper was shared with the Argus Observer, which still has a request pending with the agency for the police report. So far, a suspect has not been named in the shooting, and as of Tuesday afternoon Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was still looking for tips from the public.
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s news release, the agency received a report of the shooting shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, and upon arriving were notified that four victims with gunshot wounds had driven themselves to a nearby hospital. Hatchett was then one of two who was transferred to another hospital, where he died from his injuries.
The police department states that the victims were at a dinner party inside a business, and had left after an altercation took place “prompting the business to close for the evening.”
Police say an unidentified vehicle followed the victims and when they pulled up to an intersection further down the road, the unidentified vehicle pulled up and a person fired several rounds.
A reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal told the Argus that the majority of traffic lights in Las Vegas are equipped with video cameras, and believes the intersection where the shooting occurred is one of those and is hopeful police were able to obtain video footage.