2 Iowa State Athletes Shot in Robbery : Police Wound Pair as They Fled; School Officials Stunned

From Associated Press

Two Iowa State University athletes were shot and wounded while trying to flee after a robbery at a fast-food restaurant, police reported today.

Charged with first-degree robbery in the incident Thursday night were Sam Mack, 18, a sophomore forward for the Cyclones basketball team, and Levin White, 21, a junior defensive back who sat out the 1988 football season after transferring from the University of Southern California, officials said.

(At USC, a spokesman said, White was recruited by Coach Larry Smith and participated in spring drills there last year before leaving the campus.)

“I’m sure the county attorney’s office is looking into some additional charges,” Ames Police Sgt. Craig Reid said. Reid said the two men were carrying cash from the restaurant when they were shot, but would not say how much money was taken.


No Other Injuries

Mack, from Phoenix, Ill., and White, from Alta Loma, were reported in satisfactory condition this morning at an Ames hospital. No other injuries were reported to police, customers or employees.

Basketball Coach Johnny Orr, in Seattle for the NCAA basketball championships and a meeting of the National Assn. of Basketball Coaches, told the Associated Press he was “shocked” to learn of the news.

“Sam’s been a good kid. He comes from a good family. I don’t know why he would do anything like that,” Orr said.


The basketball coach said that to his knowledge, Mack did not have any financial difficulties.

“He’s been at the study table every day this week,” Orr said.

He said he would return to Ames on Saturday to check into the matter.

‘Shocked, Bewildered’

ISU President Gordon Eaton said school officials were “shocked and bewildered” by the robbery.

“Pending a legal resolution of the case, their team memberships and Athletic Department privileges have been suspended by the director of athletics,” Eaton said in a statement released by the university. “Their status as students at Iowa State University will be determined through existing procedures within the office of student affairs.”

Police said two men entered the restaurant and shot above the heads of the six employees as they herded them into a cooler. A woman employee escaped through a drive-up window, ran to a police station about three blocks away and said a robbery was in progress at the restaurant, Reid said.

Reid said the two men came out of an east door of the restaurant, where two of the officers were waiting.


“One was armed with a rifle,” Reid said. “The officer ordered them to drop the weapon.

“The one with the rifle raised it at the officer. The other turned to go back into the store, which could have created a hostage situation. That met our requirements for use of deadly force.”