Police say shooting incident involving USF football players were separate incidents


University Police (UP) originally believed celebratory gunshots fired on campus by USF football players Benjamin Knox, 21, and Lamar Robbins, 22, after USF’s Homecoming win against Syracuse were part of one incident. However, UP Assistant Chief Chris Daniel said further investigation revealed the shots were actually two separate shootings that took place just minutes apart.

“When we first made the arrest, we were still in the process of … identifying people in the area,” Daniel said. “As we did so, we found witnesses that were able to identify both individuals discharging a weapon.”

Daniel said UP believes the first discharge of the Glock .45-caliber handgun that was used in both shootings took place on USF Myrtle Drive just before 4 a.m. on Oct. 11. The second set of gunshots took place minutes later in the Crescent Hill parking garage just next to the road.

According to a Tampa Bay Times article and search warrants filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, Robbins fired the gun before Knox shot at least twice in the parking garage. UP also discovered a bullet stuck in one of the walls of the nearby Holly D apartments, where multiple shots left visible damage.

“(The shootings were separated by) just a matter of feet and the action of moving a vehicle into the parking garage,” Daniel said.

UP found a box of ammunition and an open gun case inside Knox’s car in the parking garage, and officers later located Knox and the gun inside his Holly D dorm room. 

Knox and Robbins were both arrested after the incident, and Knox was released from jail Oct. 12 on $32,500 bond, while Robbins was released Oct. 19 on $15,500 bail. 

A freshman this year, Knox faces felony charges of discharging or possessing a firearm on university property and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Robbins, a junior, is charged with a second-degree felony, discharging a firearm on campus, and providing false information to a law enforcement officer after lying about his involvement in the shootings, which is a misdemeanor.

Both are indefinitely suspended from the USF football program, and Knox is no longer a student at USF, while Robbins is still enrolled.

As part of the ongoing investigation into the shootings, Daniel said UP has issued trespassing notices against Knox and Robbins until the university decides what other actions should be taken. He said if either show up on campus, they would be subject to arrest after a warning.