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Monday, October 18, 2004
Updated: October 19, 3:41 PM ET
Players' arraignment set for Nov. 24

ESPN.com news services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee starting safety Brandon Johnson was suspended indefinitely because he fired a gun into the air near campus.

Johnson, a junior from Tulsa, Okla., was arrested early Monday and charged with felony reckless endangerment after shooting the gun outside the apartment of tailback Cedric Houston, according to a police report.

Junior defensive back Chris Heath, who was in school on a medical scholarship but not playing, was charged with misdemeanor unlawful carrying of a firearm. Heath was permanently dismissed from the team.

Coach Phillip Fulmer disciplined both players Monday, saying, "Our players are taught to be responsible and accountable. These two young men did not act in a responsible manner, and will be held accountable."

Johnson has been placed on indefinite non-participant status pending an investigation by the athletic department and the university's student conduct office, the Nashville) Tennessean reported. A decision on any further action would be made following the investigation, Fulmer said.

Johnson had two interceptions in a 21-17 victory Saturday over Mississippi. He is not expected to play Saturday when Tennessee (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) hosts Alabama.

An off-duty police officer living in the area heard a gunshot early Monday and saw Johnson standing in the doorway of the apartment with a gun in his hand and moving the slide on the gun back and forth, the report said.

Heath and Johnson were taken to the Knox County Jail and released on bond. Their arraignment was set for Nov. 24 in Knox County General Sessions Court.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.