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Reports: Lankford's Brother Shot To Death

A 19-year-old man who died Sunday of gunshot wounds was identified as the brother of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Ray Lankford according to broadcast reports.

Percibal Thomley was shot in the head at about 10 p.m. Saturday, police Officer Sherry Rumsey said. Thomley was taken to Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he died Sunday, police Sgt. James Kimoto said.

Police could not confirm whether Thomley was Lankford's brother, but three St. Louis television stations reported he was.

Lankford's aunt, Geraldine Blackwell, who spoke to KTVI-TV in St. Louis, said in an interview that Thomley was shot on "a heavy gang street."

"They tell us he went out to the car to get something, just before they got ready to go out, and they said someone was standing there waiting and shot him in the back of the head," Blackwell told the station. "Another friend said they think they mistook him for someone else, but they don't know."

Brad Hainje, the Cardinals' media relations assistant director, said Lankford left the team Sunday morning "for personal reasons to attend to a family matter in California." He declined to elaborate.

Lankford missed Sunday's game against the Twins and will miss "the next couple of games," Hainje said.

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