Slain Hoopster Attempted to Rob a Drug Dealer, Police Say

Hyman Taylor

The former University of San Francisco basketball player killed in an IKEA parking lot last week was murdered in a botched attempt to rob a marijuana dealer, authorities said Monday.

Hyman Taylor, 23, of Oakland, and three companions arranged to meet a female marijuana dealer in the parking lot of the Emeryville furniture store at 7:30 p.m. last Tuesday, a hookup arranged via, according to Alameda County prosecutors.

There, the four attempted to rob her, but were met with gunfire by the marijuana dealer's "male protector," who was lurking nearby in bushes. The male protector hit Taylor and another man -- both of whom were armed -- killing Taylor and wounding the other man, who is still in critical condition.

Prosecutors do not know if Taylor fired his weapon in the exchange. A .22-caliber gun registered in his name was found next to his body, prosecutors said.

The two marijuana dealers are still at large.

Prosecutors charged 20-year-old Cassidy O'Connor of Oakland with murder in Taylor's death, though he is not yet suspected of firing any shots. He did admit to Oakland Police to being involved in "the alleged robbery gone wrong."

It's a sad ending to the brief tale of Taylor's life. The 6-foot-9, 245-pound center last played for the USF Dons men's basketball team in 2008-2009. The native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, studied sociology at the Jesuit institution.
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