Phillips gun charge followed fight with football players

RENO " Nevada point guard Armon Johnson and four other Wolf Pack athletes were involved in incidents that led to Ahyaro Phillips being arrested and dismissed from the basketball team for carrying a handgun on campus, police records show.

Phillips' was arrested last week for carrying a gun after he confronted two football players on campus following an earlier altercation with them at an off-campus party, Nevada athletic officials said.

Phillips, a 6-foot-8 freshman reserve forward from New Orleans, told campus police he obtained the .25-caliber handgun from Johnson's home.

Johnson, a first team all-Western Athletic Conference selection this year after being named the WAC's top freshman the year before, told police that someone named "Luck" had asked him to "hold" the gun for him more than three weeks ago.

"So I put it in a safe spot in my house," Johnson said in a statement to the police.

Johnson said he brought it to the police station April 17 at the request of Nevada basketball coach David Carter. He said Carter told him that Phillips knew where the gun was and had taken it before the confrontation.

No one but Phillips has been charged, and university officials said no disciplinary action was anticipated against any of the other student athletes whose names appear in the police reports.

That includes two football players " sophomore linebacker Adam Liranzo and freshman defensive back Jonathan Ott " and the two other basketball players who were present at the on-campus confrontation " reserve sophomore forward Adam Carp and reserve freshman guard London Giles.

"The only way we would take an action against somebody else is if they had violated a law or a rule, and they haven't," Nevada athletic department spokeswoman Rhonda Lundin said Wednesday night.

"We really don't have anything more to say," she said.

Carter was on a recruiting trip and not available for comment.

Phillips, who Carter kicked off the basketball team, is scheduled to be arraigned May 1 in Reno Justice Court on two gross misdemeanor charges of possession of a deadly weapon on university property. He could face up to a year in jail and $2,000 fine if convicted.

It marked Phillips' second brush with the law in less than a year. He, Giles and junior forward Brandon Fields were cited for petty theft Oct. 15 at a sporting goods store. Phillips pleaded not guilty and the charges were later dropped.


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