NBA player Bryce Dejean-Jones has been shot dead after he broke into an apartment in Dallas, believing it to be where his girlfriend lived, according to his agent.

Police said a man who lived in the flat was sleeping when he heard his front door kicked open in the early hours of the morning, and grabbed a handgun.

When Dejean-Jones, 23, began kicking at the man’s bedroom door, the man fired his weapon apparently in self-defence.

Officers who responded found the New Orleans Pelicans forward collapsed in an outdoor passageway. He later died in hospital.

The Pelicans said: “We are devastated at the loss of this young man’s life.”

Dejean-Jones was visiting his girlfriend for his daughter’s first birthday, according to his agent, Scott Nichols.

Mr Nichols said the girlfriend had returned to the flat first while Dejean-Jones went for a walk after they had gone out.

Apartment block

The apartment complex where Dejean-Jones was shot

She lives on the fourth floor, and Dejean-Jones, who was visiting the complex for the first time, went to the third.

“He went to the wrong apartment unfortunately and I think he thought his girlfriend locked him out, so he was knocking on the door, banging on the door, it’s locked,” Mr Nichols said.

“So one thing led to another.”

It is legal in Texas for someone to use deadly force in order to protect themselves from intruders.

Dejean-Jones’ only NBA season ended in February because of a broken right wrist. He started 11 of 14 games and averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds.

Bryce Dejean-Jones

“Bryce inspired countless people,” said the NBA’s commissioner

He previously played for the Iowa State team and was signed by the Pelicans last summer.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called it a “tragic loss”.

“Bryce inspired countless people with his hard work and perseverance on his journey to the NBA, and he had a bright future in our league,” he added.

Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said: “This is a very, very sad and tragic day for everyone that’s a part of the Cyclone basketball family.”