November 21, 2023
The brother of Lakers great Michael Cooper was gunned down in a Pasadena park where the two once played basketball.
The brother of NBA champion and Lakers great Michael Cooper was shot and killed on Saturday, Nov. 18, at a Pasadena park where the two honed their basketball skills as children, The Los Angeles Times reported. A 24-year-old suspect has been arrested in the death of the victim, 64-year-old Mickey Cooper.
Aaron Miguel Connell was detained for an unrelated crime by law enforcement, who felt he posed a threat to the public and suspected he was involved with Cooper’s death.
“Believing this person posed an immediate threat to the public, detectives coordinated an arrest operation with members of the U.S. Marshal’s Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Taskforce, PPD SWAT, and PPD K-9 Unit,” the Pasadena Police Department said. Connel was subsequently charged with murder on Monday, Nov. 20. Police have not established the motive for Cooper’s death, TMZ reported; however, they are asking for anyone with information to reach out to the department.
Law enforcement responded to shots fired at 4 a.m. in the 700 block of East Washington Boulevard, and upon arrival, found the 64-year-old unresponsive and riddled with gunshot wounds.
Cooper, who played with the Lakers during their storied “Showtime” era and won five championships, confirmed the death of his brother to KABC-TV Channel 7 Eyewitness News as well as the park’s significance to their shared history. Since leaving the NBA, the 67-year-old basketball icon has enjoyed both a successful coaching and sports analyst career.
Cooper led the Los Angeles Sparks to two WNBA championships and finished with a 72-57 record as the University of Southern California’s Women of Troy Basketball Team’s head coach. He also acted as an assistant coach for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets in 2004 before becoming the team’s talent scout. Cooper is regarded as one of the league’s most elite defenders and was selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team five times throughout his career. He was also named Defensive Player Of The Year in 1987.
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