NEW YORK — New York Knicks player Cleanthony Early was shot in the leg as he left a strip club Wednesday by masked robbers who demanded his “gold,” law enforcement officials said.
Early left CityScapes in Queens with his girlfriend at about 4:30 a.m. in an Uber cab when his vehicle was surrounded by at least two other cars and as many as six men got out, the two officials said. Early handed over two gold chains before he was shot in the right kneecap, the officials said. The men drove off.
The Uber driver and girlfriend were uninjured, and the driver was robbed only of his identification. Early, 24, was hospitalized in stable condition.
The two law enforcement officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the victim’s name.
The Knicks said in a brief statement that they were aware of an incident involving Early and “relieved that he is not in a life-threatening situation.”
Police were searching for suspects and trying to determine if it was a carefully planned attack or a spur-of-the-moment hit.
The theft comes about 10 days after Knicks forward Derrick Williams was robbed of $617,000 in jewelry from his home. He had taken home two women from a Manhattan club. Police are still looking for suspects.
Thumbnail photo via Russell Isabella/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Knicks' Cleanthony Early