Colorado State offensive lineman Barry Wesley says he pleaded for his life as he was held at gunpoint in June by a rogue vigilante while working a summer job.
Wesley told Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated in an interview released Thursday he complied with the orders of Scott Gudmundsen, who's been treated at a mental health facility and remains held in custody on $50,000 bond after being arrested following the incident.
"Please don't kill me," Wesley told Gudmundsen. "Please don't kill me."
Gudmundsen replied: "You're lucky. I'm not going to kill you. The police are going to do that for me."
Wesley, who's Black, said he'd encountered Gudmundsen with work colleague Kyle Farrell a day earlier on his first day on the job at a roofing company. He said the only thing that stood out about the encounter was the gun holstered by Gudmundsen, a 65-year-old white man.
"It was weird, but not really concerning," he said. "We talked about [Gudmundsen] on the way back to Fort Collins, about George Floyd and the climate of our country and how sensitive it is right now. I just figured: This guy's been watching the wrong type of news channel or something."
Following the incident, Loveland Police Lt. Bob Shaffer told Kevin Vaughan of 9News they received a call from Gudmundsen identifying Wesley and Farrell as members of antifa, a loose term for an anti-fascist political movement often targeted by conservatives, including President Donald Trump.
Stanley Gudmundsen, the man's son, issued a statement of apology for his father's actions to the network.
"Our sincerest thoughts go out to the two salesmen and we apologize to them and their families for the actions of our father and wish them well," he wrote.
Wesley, a redshirt junior for the Rams, told Prewitt he blames the polarized nature of political television networks for laying the groundwork for Gudmundsen's actions.
"I think he was watching the news, and the news was showing him what he wanted to see—and that led to his actions," he said. "I think he was scared and frightened and he needed to do [what he thought was] the right thing. He took advantage of his knowledge of how to use a firearm to take someone's right to humanity."
Wesley noted he still deals with triggers related to the incident, telling his therapist, "I'm not the same person I used to be," per Prewitt.
"He definitely defeated my sense of peace and stability," he said.
Wesley lamented the lack of football because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it provided "structure and stability" when he needed it most, but said he's considering another job to remain occupied.