Armon Johnson, Four Other Wolf Pack Athletes Tied To Phillips Gun Arrest

By  | 

RENO, Nev. (AP) - 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.

The Reno Gazette-Journal first reported Johnson's involvement on its Web site Wednesday.

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 told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.

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

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

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.

Associate athletic director Keith Hackett told the Gazette-Journal that Phillips had confronted a woman at an off-campus party April 11 and that Liranzo and Ott intervened.

Phillips took a swing at Liranzo but missed and then Liranzo knocked Phillips out, Hackett said.

Four days later, Phillips approached Liranzo, who is a 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, outside the campus recreation center.

Witnesses told police a gun fell out of Phillips' pocket.

When interviewed by police, Carp initially did not mention a gun, and said a cell phone had fallen from Phillips' pocket, police said. Later he admitted it was a silver handgun.

Giles said in a statement to police that after Phillips and Liranzo squared off to fight, Phillips told him to hold his jacket. "Gun falls out. I pick it up and give it back to him once in car. No fists were thrown," Giles told police. Giles said he was "just as shocked to see the gun as everybody else," the police
report said.

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.