Max McHugh, one of the NCAA’s top breaststrokers, is one of two Gophers swimmers recovering from gunshot wounds suffered Saturday morning in downtown Minneapolis, his father confirmed.
The website SwimSwam.com reported that McHugh and teammate Nick Saulnier sustained “non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to recover.” The report, citing a source, said “a bullet penetrated the inside of McHugh’s right leg just above the knee, and Saulnier in the elbow.”
The University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Police have not confirmed the swimmers’ identities. But McHugh’s father, Mike McHugh, confirmed via e-mail that one is Max McHugh, who finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke and third in the 100 breaststroke at the NCAA championships this March as a freshman.
“Max is home, recovering — physically and psychologically,” Mike McHugh wrote. “We are so disappointed by the sensationalism and inaccuracy. The official police report is out, no altercation, just a horrific random drive-by shooting.”
Max McHugh is from Sturgeon Bay, Wis. His older brother, Conner, also was an All-America swimmer for the Gophers. Saulnier was a junior last season who was part of an 800-yard relay team that placed fifth at the Big Ten championships.
The university’s statement said: “The individuals had recently ordered a pizza and were waiting on a ride home when the incident occurred. They received treatment at a local hospital and were released. Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle and head coach Kelly Kremer have communicated with both student-athletes and they are recovering.”
The university had no further comment Monday.
About 1:20 a.m. Saturday, Minneapolis police in 13 squad cars were sent to the scene at N. 2nd Avenue and N. 3rd Street after patrol officers heard shots. When they arrived, police found two men with gunshot wounds — one to the knee, the other to the elbow.
Both were taken to HCMC for treatment. The men told police they were sitting on a curb when someone started shooting.