Basketball Recruit Ashley James Dead at 19 After Accidental Shooting

Ashley James, a three-star basketball recruit for the Class of 2020 out of Chatham (Virginia) Hargrave Military Academy who also goes by AJ, died on Monday evening in an accidental shooting. He was 19 years old. It was reported that James suffered a gunshot wound in an apartment in the 600 block of Montauk Lane. No criminal charges have been filed, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

"Hardest day I've ever had as a coach," Hargrave Military Academy head coach Lee Martin told 247Sports' Evan Daniels. "AJ was a great young man."

James received medial attention after police responded to a report of a person being injured. An investigation was done and it was determined he was at the location with another adult handling a handgun before it went off and the bullet struck him.

"On March 2, 2020, Chesapeake Police were called to an apartment just before midnight in the 600 block of Montauk Lane for a report of an injured person," Chesapeake (Virginia) Police Department spokesperson LeoKosinski said in a statement sent to Jason Wert of OzarksIndependent.com.

"Once there they located an adult male, identified as 19-year-old Ashley James, who was suffering from a gunshot wound. He was provided emergency medical care but ended up dying from his injury. It was determined that he was at the location with another adult male. They were handling a handgun when it went off, ultimately killing the victim. Detectives responded to the scene. After consultation with the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office it was determined that no criminal charges would be filed at this time."

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James announced last year he would continue his postgraduate career at Hargrave Military Academy and he was set to play college basketball at Missouri State. He reportedly received offers from East Tennessee State, Fresno State, Hampton, Hofstra, Murray State, Norfolk State, North Carolina AT&T, Saint Louis, USF and VCU. James played high school basketball at Green Run and was a two-time All-State selection. He was also named Class 5 Region A Player of the Year and Beach District Player of the Year for the 2018-2019 season.

"I actually thought he was calling to congratulate us," Green Run head coach Kenneth Harris said. "He told me AJ had been shot . . . When that happened, I called Jacob (Cooper), who was looking for AJ. Then AJ's mom called me around 3:30 in the morning and told me."