A promising, college-bound football player died Sunday, nearly two weeks after getting into a fight at a Gaithersburg basketball court that may have led to a heart attack, police say.
Tyler Terry was a 17-year-old student at Quince Orchard High School who was preparing to play football next year at Monmouth College in New Jersey.
“He was always upbeat and positive,” a classmate, Devonte Paige, told News4.
Police said Terry was among a group that headed to a basketball court near Hillstone Road and Timber Rock Road, on Jan. 29 so they could fight an opposing group, police said.
The first fight was between Terry and an adult male. After fighting for two or three minutes with minimal physical contact, Terry walked away, police said.
Witnesses told police that Terry seemed tired, according to a police statement.
Over the next five to ten minutes, witnesses used their cellphones to film a second fight, then a third. During the third fight, police say Terry suddenly collapsed to the ground and went unconscious. His collapse was caught on video.
Several witnesses called 911 and reported that someone appeared to be in cardiac arrest. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue and police responded about 7:50 a.m. Devonte Paige’s father, Keith Briggs told News4 he saw the football coach on the scene as paramedics tried to revive Terry.
Terry was taken to Children’s National Medical Center in D.C.
Doctors tested Terry and determined he wasn’t injured during the fight, but did suffer a heart attack, police said. Doctors also discovered that Terry had a pre-existing medical condition.
"As a football player, you would never know he had a heart condition. He was just all over the field,” Paige, a teammate of Terry's, said. “He was just electric to play next to.”
The mood at Quince Orchard High was somber after news of Terry’s condition spread, Page said.
“Everyone tried to be uplifting,” Paige said.
Terry died Sunday, and authorities decided not to conduct an autopsy because of the pre-existing condition.
Prosecutor will determine whether to file any charges.