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Coveted college football recruit from St. Frances in Baltimore charged with attempted first-degree murder

Luke Hill, a former high school football player in Baltimore who had committed to play this year at the University of Oregon, was arrested Tuesday and charged with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault.

In addition to those two felonies, Hill was charged with six misdemeanors in connection with an alleged incident Monday evening in which he is accused of shooting at another man who is dating his ex-girlfriend. A spokesman for the Prince George’s County Police Department said that “the intended target was not hurt, and this was not a random act.”

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The intended target was reported by ESPN to be Ishmael Leggett, a former classmate of Hill’s at St. John’s College High who has committed to play basketball at the University of Rhode Island. When reached by phone Wednesday, Leggett told The Washington Post he could not comment.

“I am aware of the situation with Ishmael Leggett and have been in contact with him and his family,” URI Coach David Cox said in a statement (via the Providence Journal). “Thankfully, he was not harmed, as his well-being is my primary concern.”

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According to a charging document filed by the state’s attorney’s office for Prince George’s County and obtained by The Post, officers responded Monday at approximately 7:30 p.m. to a report of a noncontact shooting in Accokeek, Md. They were met by the target of the shooting — whose name was redacted from the document — and his mother.

The intended target said he was outside his home playing basketball when a white car with tinted windows pulled up and someone inside began shooting at him. The mother said she heard the shots while pulling into the driveway and saw the vehicle, which was filmed fleeing the scene by a neighbor.

According to the charging document, the target told police that his girlfriend had been getting phone calls from Hill, 18, who was “threatening her about her current relationship” and was unhappy about a photo she had posted to social media.

Detectives went to Hill’s home in Temple Hills, Md., and saw a white vehicle pull up that matched the description offered by Leggett and his mother. Hill was seen exiting the car and entering his home, and when he returned to the vehicle and drove away a short time later, police pulled him over, impounded the car and brought him in for questioning.

After obtaining a search warrant for the residence in Temple Hills, per the document, detectives found a hidden compartment in a closet in Hill’s bedroom. Behind pieces of mail sent to him from the Oregon football program, a Glock handgun was discovered that was “loaded with an extended magazine with [22] .40 caliber rounds of ammunition.”

Two other guns were said to have been found at Hill’s residence, and the caliber of the gun found in the closet matched the caliber of a casing discovered at the crime scene. Seven casings in all were recovered there, and two shots allegedly struck the target’s home.

The misdemeanors with which Hill has been charged include:

  • Possession of a loaded handgun
  • Possession of a handgun
  • Possession of a firearm under the age of 21
  • Use of a magazine with more than 20 rounds in the commission of a felony
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • Reckless endangerment

Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal said Wednesday (via the Oregonian) that Hill was “informed earlier this spring that he would not be a member of our program.”

Hill, listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds on the charging document, was a defensive back at St. John’s who withdrew during his junior year and finished his high school career at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. Designated a four-star recruit by ESPN and other rankings sites, he reportedly had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Oklahoma, as well as Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech, before picking Oregon.

The Oregonian reported Wednesday that Hill and the Ducks “parted ways months ago” and that he was not given an application or formally admitted to Oregon. The program soured on Hill, per the Oregonian, following several “immature actions” in February that were “not related to the current charges.”

St. Frances football co-coach Henry Russell said via text, "We have no comment at this time. We are glad no one was injured and will let the legal system go through its process before commenting.”

Leggett, a 6-4 guard, was named to the All-Met second team for the 2020 winter sports season. He committed to Rhode Island in September after considering (per the Providence Journal) DePaul, South Florida, Wake Forest, Illinois and Charlotte, with other offers from George Washington, La Salle, Richmond and Saint Joseph’s.

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Baltimore Sun reporter Glenn Graham contributed to this article

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