Keith Appling Arrested, Killed Detroit Relative, Police Report Says
A former college basketball star has been arrested on suspicion of killing an elderly relative of his over the weekend in Detroit.
Keith Appling, who was a four-year member of the Michigan State University men’s basketball team from 2010-2014, was taken into custody on Monday after a manhunt following what police described as a family dispute turned deadly.
The relation between Appling and the victim was not immediately clear.
The Detroit News reported that one of Appling’s relatives told police that he shot a different relative — an unidentified 66-year-old-man — after the two of them had a verbal altercation early Saturday night. Appling reportedly shot the relative dead at the victim’s home in Detroit and dropped the gun after another relative forced it out of his hand. He then fled in a car before being arrested Monday morning about 57 miles west of Detroit in the town of Chelsea. The Detroit Free Press reported that a gun was recovered during the arrest.
The police report did not mention any motivation behind the shooting. It described a situation where Appling and the relative who made the gun drop agreed to go to the victim’s home. When they got there, the relative went inside the home and Appling and the victim remained together outside on the lawn.
According to the police report: “(The relative) said he heard multiple gunshots so he went outside and he (saw) Mr. Appling ‘standing there with a stupid look on his face.’ He stated Mr. Appling had a gun in his hand so he grabbed his arm and they began wrestling for the gun.”
Appling, 29, was once a promising basketball prospect from Detroit who won a coveted scholarship to the highly competitive Michigan State team following an outstanding high school basketball career that had him ranked among the nation’s best players.
But since he left college in 2014, Appling has been in and out of trouble, including serving a year in jail in 2017 after pleading guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and resisting and obstructing a Detroit police officer during a traffic stop. Appling was arrested and hit with two other gun charges in 2016.
Most recently, during a separate traffic stop last year, Appling caught a felony drug charge over heroin police found in his car. In that instance, he was sentenced in November to 18 months of probation. However, Appling reportedly violated the terms of his probation, resulting in a warrant for his arrest being issued in February.
Appling has bounced around the world’s basketball leagues, including a brief stint in the NBA and its then-D-League. His jail sentence interrupted professional basketball fr two years, but he returned to the game in 2018 with a Dominican team and in the Mexican league.
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