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Police investigating death of former Memphis player as murder-suicide

March 19, 1997

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Police are treating the shooting deaths of Baskerville Holmes, a member of Memphis’ 1985 Final Four basketball team, and his girlfriend as a murder-suicide.

Holmes told police he accidentally shot his girlfriend Tuesday. He then shot himself a few minutes later, a television station reported, but police would not confirm that report.

Both Tanya C. Franklin, 28, and Holmes, 32, were dead when police arrived at their home. Lt. Richard True of the Memphis police department said they were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.

WHBQ-TV said Holmes placed the 911 call to police at 6:35 a.m. CST before going into a back bedroom and shooting himself. Three children were at home at the time of the shooting.

True refused to comment on who made the 911 call and on how many times Franklin and Holmes had been shot. He said police recovered a handgun and had a witness to the shooting of one victim. He would not elaborate.

Family members told WHBQ that Holmes was upset after being laid off at Consolidated Freightways.

Franklin and Holmes dated the past six years and had one child together, a toddler who was in the home with Franklin’s two other children. All three children were taken to their grandparents after the shootings.

Holmes, a forward, played for Memphis State from 1982-1986 and was a member of the 1985 squad that lost to Villanova 52-45 in the national semifinals. That Final Four squad was led by center Keith Lee.

While at Memphis State, Holmes received as much attention for his name as he did for his athletic abilities. His coach, Dana Kirk, said Holmes’ mother picked the name after reading about Sherlock Holmes in ``The Hound of the Baskervilles.″

``I know he got more publicity than anyone had ever seen because of the name,″ Kirk said Tuesday. ``Everywhere we went, someone would ask me or him about his name.″

Holmes, who played in Europe after leaving Memphis State, talked last fall of trying to play once again, Kirk said.

``I’m quite shocked,″ Kirk said about the incident. ``I’m in a state of shock. It’s completely set me back a step or two.″

Holmes was tied with teammate Andre Turner for the most career games (132) at Memphis State, now the University of Memphis. Holmes was named to the All-Metro Conference tournament team in both 1985 and 1986 and was a member of the second-team All-Metro Conference in 1986.

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