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Sunday, October 26, 2003
Updated: October 27, 4:28 PM ET
Ex-Wyoming basketball player dead in murder-suicide

ESPN

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Former Wyoming basketball player Brett Studdard shot his former girlfriend to death and then committed suicide, police in Roswell, Ga., said.

Kelly Jo Kranze, 28, of Roswell, was shot twice with a .38-caliber semiautomatic pistol, once in the back and once in the head, after an altercation in the front yard of her home Oct. 16, police said.

Kranze, a pharmacist, was preparing for a weekend visit from her family when she was fatally shot as she tried to run to a neighbor's home for safety, Sgt. James McGee said.

Studdard, 32, lived in Marietta, Ga. Some of Kranze's Florida family was in town for a weekend visit, and she had taken three days off work to be with them, McGee said. No one else was at the home at the time.

The shooting came two days after a Cobb County Superior Court judge issued a permanent restraining order prohibiting Studdard from contacting Kranze. The order also forbade Studdard from possessing any firearms.

Kranze had complained to police after an Oct. 2 altercation at her home that Studdard was stalking her at home and work, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on its Web site.

Kranze told police she had been dating Studdard for about two years before she broke up with him in early September "due to lack of trust and not letting her have her life," according to a police report.

Then on Oct. 16, Studdard pulled his rented gold Dodge Intrepid into the driveway behind Kranze just after she arrived about 10 p.m., police said.

Citing accounts by neighbors, McGee said the two argued and apparently struggled. Studdard may have accidentally shot himself in the leg before Kranze broke free and ran toward Eissler's home, police said.

Studdard shot Kranze in the upper back as she ran, then walked up to her and shot her in the back of the head before putting the pistol into his mouth and committing suicide, McGee said.

Studdard played at Wyoming as a reserve guard in 1991-93 after being recruited from junior college by then-Wyoming coach Benny Dees.

He played in 57 games for the Cowboys, averaging 4.3 points and 1.0 rebound. His best game came Jan. 21, 1993, when he scored 20 points against UTEP.

"This came as a big, big shock and a great surprise to both Nancy and I," Dees said in a phone interview with the Laramie Daily Boomerang. "Brett was a smart young man and a good student."

"He wasn't quite as good as some of our other guys and didn't get to play as much as he would have liked, but he was a fine young man in every way. It's just a real tragedy."