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Len Bias’ Brother Jay Shot to Death

December 5, 1990

HYATTSVILLE, Md. (AP) _ The younger brother of the late University of Maryland basketball star and cocaine overdose victim Len Bias was shot and killed while driving out of a shopping center Tuesday in what police called ″utter senseless violence.″

James Stanley Bias III, 20, also known as Jay, was shot about 1:10 p.m. in the parking lot of the Prince George’s Plaza Shopping Center in the Washington suburb of Hyattsville, Prince George’s County police said.

He was pronounced dead of two gunshot wounds to the back at 2:52 p.m. at Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale, the same hospital where his brother Len Bias was pronounced dead in June 1986.

Jerry Samuel Tyler, 24, of Temple Hills was charged with first-degree murder in the case, according to police Lt. Alphonzo Hawkins. Tyler turned himself in about 8:30 p.m. at the department’s Oxon Hill station, Hawkins said.

The cocaine overdose death of Len Bias shocked the sports world through its illustration of the extent of drug use among athletes. Len Bias died just two days after his first-round selection by the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association draft.

The shooting of Jay Bias apparently resulted from an argument that began in a jewelry store, Cpl. Mark Polk said.

Jay Bias and two friends were shopping at a jewelry store when he was confronted by a man who accused him of flirting with his girlfriend, a clerk in the store, according to the police account.

″They got into an argument. There was an exchange of words,″ Polk said. ″The suspect asked Mr. Bias to come out to the parking lot and they would take care of business there. Mr. Bias declined.″

Bias and his friends left the store after making a purchase, police said.

He was shot as he and the friend were driving out of the parking lot. The suspects opened fire from another car, Polk said.

Another man was cut by flying glass and was taken to Leland Memorial where he was treated and released.

Bias may have been caught in the middle of a dispute that had nothing to do with him, Polk said.

″It looks like utter senseless violence,″ Polk said.

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