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Tyler Smith, Tennessee's top-rated basketball player, said he bought the gun that brought down his college career because someone had threatened to kill his 3-year-old son. He's never said that before now. And he still won't go to the police. Last November in Knoxville, Smith, who lived off campus, had much of his personal property stolen. The former Giles County High School star said he was about to call the police, but the threats came first.
He said the first text message threatened his life. The second promised to kill his son. Smith said he knows who did it, but he never called the police. Instead, two days later, he bought a Taurus pistol for protection. "I'm the one who put myself into that situation with the gun," Smith said recently, speaking publicly about the incident for the first time. "But a lot of people don't know the whole situation."
Smith said police asked why he hadn't reported them. Smith said he responded by saying the threats specifically stated for him not to go to police. "Two or three guys," Smith said last week, referring to the threat makers. "I knew them, I knew them, I knew them."
"I never even thought about using it," Smith. "I thought if word got around that I had protection, that would keep them away."