WALNUT, MS (WMC) - Memphis Police Department found the gun they believe was used to kill Lorenzen Wright in July 2010.
Officers found the gun in a lake in Walnut, Mississippi.
Wright was a professional basketball player who was from Memphis. He went to Booker T. Washington High School and University of Memphis. He was a first-round NBA pick and played in the league for 13 years, including six seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies.
"We were told it was a diving training exercise," said Marty Dunkin, who works at the landfill by the lake where police found the gun.
Dunkin said in the summer, he saw several law enforcement officers at the lake for five days in a row. He said the lake is less than 10 feet deep.
"It was taped off and there's an entrance to the lake and no one else was allowed down that road," Dunkin said. "At times there was anywhere from 10 to 12 vehicles parked down there."
Dunkin and other people who saw the officers in the lake made the connection when MPD announced they found the gun.
"It's very interesting. I certainly hope the results will be arrests are made," Dunkin said.
Lorenzen Wright disappeared after a cryptic 911 call July 19, 2010; his body was found July 28 near Hacks Cross Road.
Police believe he was murdered. The case remains unsolved.
Saturday marked what would have been his 42nd birthday, and his family members renewed their plea for justice.
"It's just weird that seven years later it's at a random lake in this small community," said Jake Rogers.
Rogers said the gun in the lake is the talk of Walnut, Mississippi.
"I'm hoping they get closure because I felt really bad about it when it happened," Rogers said. "I'm a Grizzlies fan."
Memphis police have not said anything about any suspects in the murder of Lorenzen Wright or what their next step is.
Wright's mother Debbie Marion said she's so happy, so relieved, to hear what she calls a huge break in this case.
Our crews sat down with Wright's mom shortly after police made the announcement, and she was emotional when she got the phone call.
Marion believes someone knows something.
She said her son didn't know anyone in Walnut, Mississippi, but she believes her son's killer will soon be found.
She gave props to MPD for working so hard.
"I was elated," Marion said. "I couldn't do nothing but cry. That's all I could do. Because imagine a mother hearing they found the gun that killed your child. So somebody bought that gun, and the serial number is gonna lead to somebody."
Wright's mom says she's not giving up. She said now she'll be calling MPD for updates every two weeks, instead of every week.
If you know anything, you're asked to call Memphis police.