WASHINGTON: The 15-year-old daughter of U.S. Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay died on Sunday after being caught in an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles outside of a Kentucky restaurant, police said.
Police say 15-year-old Trinity Gay, a star high school runner herself, was struck by a bullet during a shootout at about 4 a.m. in the parking lot of the Cook Out restaurant and pronounced dead at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.
Witnesses told police gunfire was exchanged between a gray Dodge Charger and a dark-colored sports car with tinted windows. Authorities found the Dodge and detained two people for questioning as they continue to search for the other vehicle.
“She didn’t make it. I’m so confused,” Gay told the sports editor with NBC-affiliate Lex 18 television. “She was just here last week for fall break. It’s so crazy.”
Messages of support came to Tyson Gay and his family from the athletics world.
“Sending our thoughts and prayers to TysonLGay and his loved ones as they mourn the tragic and senseless loss of his daughter, Trinity,” USA Track and Field tweeted.
“Condolences to Tyson Gay and his family… 15-year-old girl dies after shooting at Lexington restaurant,” tweeted former Olympic sprint rival Ato Boldon from Trinidad and Tobago.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, Trinity Gay was a sophomore sprint star at Lafayette High School, where her father once ran. She was a fourth-generation sprinter who placed fourth in last year’s girls 100m state final.
“Our hearts are broken this morning over the loss of Trinity to this tragic and senseless act of violence,” Fayette County School Superintendent Manny Caulk said in a statement to the newspaper.
Tyson Gay is the fastest sprinter in history not to have an Olympic medal after a career nagged by doping disqualifications. In 2007, he won three gold medals at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, taking titles in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 4x100m relay. He set the U.S. record in the 100-meter sprint two years later.
Gay, who made his Olympic debut in 2008, won a silver medal with the 4×100 meters relay team at the 2012 Games in London. But he lost the medal after testing positive for a banned substance in 2013.
Gay served his suspension and returned to run again two months ago at the Rio Olympics where the Americans ran third in the 4×100 relay behind Jamaica and Japan, only to be disqualified because of a faulty exchange between teammates Justin Gatlin and Mike Rodgers. — Agencies