Two weeks ago, Iowa heavyweight wrestler Sam Stoll got himself in the news for needing surgery after he was accidentally shot in the knee on June 19. Police responded to a call from a Valley Ave. residence at 4:37 AM in regards to the incident. According to the police report, there were several people present at the time the incident occurred.
At the time, we believed it to be a freak accident, perhaps hunting-related. A bummer for Stoll for sure, who is coming off an all-American season and looked poised to be a centerpiece for an Iowa squad that was shaping up to be the best in recent years.
Stoll had surgery on his knee the day of the incident and was released from the hospital the following afternoon. The story would not go away from there, however.
On June 29, Stoll was charged with lying to police about the incident.
Stoll apparently lied to police and said he shot himself in his own garage in order to protect a friend (or even teammate). Though that part is murky since police seemed to conclude immediately that Stoll was shot by someone other than himself according to this release. (Also, why would Stoll move from one place to another after being shot?)
Upon further investigation, police determined the shooting did not occur in Stoll’s home, contrary to what he told them. After probing, the Iowa heavyweight admitted that he was shot in a friend’s home on Valley Ave. while attempting to pull off a prank. He also admitted that he lied to police in order to protect the identity of the shooter.
On Friday, Stoll was formerly charged with “false report to public entity.” The simple misdemeanor charge can result in up to 30 days in county jail and a fine of up to $625.
And that’s about all the information we have. A release from wrestling coach Tom Brands states:
I am disappointed in his actions related to this incident, as they do not reflect our values. Regarding discipline, we will follow all University and Athletics Department code of conduct policies.
So, what does this mean for Stoll? First of all, we don’t know the severity of the injury, though since it’s a friggin’ gunshot wound, I’m going to guess it’s in the “not great” category. And given Stoll’s history of bad ACLs, I’m not feeling optimistic about a slug to the knee.
Second, there’s the likelihood other wrestlers were present at the scene of the crime. Did they lie to police too? Did a teammate pull the trigger on Stoll? As far as I can tell, police very well could be searching for the identity of the shooter. The residence where Stoll was allegedly shot is a stone’s throw from Carver and the Iowa wrestling facility.
Without knowing the severity of the initial injury and the surrounding circumstances, it’s really tough to speculate what will happen here. When I first heard about the incident, I honestly thought it could be hunting-related, (4:30 AM is late by any standards, but around the time one might wake up for a hunting trip) but obviously now with Stoll’s dishonesty I have a tough time playing Devil’s Advocate.
What is certain is that this story won’t go away. Stoll will certainly face some sort of repercussion from Brands after he got caught lying to the police. The likelihood other wrestlers are involved here only make things murkier for the club.
That’s all we know for now. We’ll keep the conversation open as more updates roll out.