Redskins’ Taylor shot, in critical condition
Vail, CO Colorado
PALMETTO BAY, Fla. ” Washington Redskins star safety Sean Taylor was in critical condition Monday after he was shot during what police are investigating as a possible armed robbery at his home.
The 24-year-old player was in the intensive care unit following several hours of surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital, said family friend Richard Sharpstein, his former lawyer. Taylor remained unconscious early Monday evening.
Taylor lost a “significant” amount of blood because the bullet damaged his femoral artery, and doctors are worried about blood flow to the brain, added Sharpstein, who was at the hospital with the player’s family and friends.
Taylor has had problems on and off the field, and two years ago was accused of brandishing a gun. The shooting came eight days after another invasion was reported at his home. According to police records, someone pried open a front window, rifled through drawers and left a kitchen knife on a bed.
“They’re really sifting through that incident and today’s incident,” Miami-Dade Police Detective Mario Rachid said, “to see if there’s any correlation.”
Officers were sent to Taylor’s home at about 1:45 a.m. Monday after his girlfriend called 911 and said he was shot in his lower body, Miami-Dade Police Lt. Nancy Perez said. Taylor had missed the last two games because of a knee injury and was at home recuperating. He was airlifted to the hospital.
Investigators were still interviewing the girlfriend and other relatives in the home, Perez said. No arrests had been made.
“It could have been a possible burglary; it could have been a possible robbery,” Perez said. “It has not been confirmed as yet.”
Sharpstein said Taylor’s girlfriend told him the couple was awakened by loud noises, and Taylor grabbed a machete he keeps in the bedroom for protection. Someone then broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one missing and one hitting Taylor, the lawyer said.
“It was clearly a burglary, an armed burglary,” Sharpstein said, adding nothing appeared to have been stolen.
The shooting happened at the pale yellow house Taylor bought two years ago in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay. Taylor is in his fourth season with the Redskins after playing at the University of Miami, where he was an All-American in 2003. Despite his injury, he is tied for the NFC lead with five interceptions.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder arrived in Miami on his private plane with running back Clinton Portis, vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato and trainer Bubba Tyer.
Taylor called coach Joe Gibbs on Nov. 19 to let him know he’d miss that morning’s regular team meeting because he was in Florida dealing with the first break-in on Nov. 17.
“I said, ‘I understand that.’ I said, ‘Take care of your house and everything you have to there,'” Gibbs recalled.
Taylor was at team headquarters Saturday to treat his knee, Gibbs said, adding he wasn’t aware the player then returned to Florida.
A group of Taylor’s fans planned a two-hour vigil Monday evening outside Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va.
“This is not just a member of the Washington Redskins,” fellow safety Pierson Prioleau said. “But we’re talking about a dad, a brother, a friend of ours, and that’s where we’re at with this right now.”
Gibbs was joined by the team chaplain at the Redskins’ usual Monday meeting. A small group of players held a separate prayer gathering.
The Redskins (5-6) lost 19-13 at Tampa Bay on Sunday. Taylor did not travel with the team to the game because of his injury. He sprained a ligament in his right knee in the second half of the Nov. 11 loss to Philadelphia and was expected to miss at least two games.
Known as one of the NFL’s hardest hitters, Taylor played in his first Pro Bowl last season and drew attention by leveling the other team’s punter in what is usually a well-mannered exhibition game.
Taylor has been in trouble numerous times since he was drafted No. 5 overall in 2004. He has been fined at least seven times during his professional career for late hits and other infractions, including a $17,000 penalty for spitting in the face of Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman during a playoff game in January 2006. Taylor also was fined $25,000 for skipping a mandatory rookie symposium shortly after he was drafted.
Redskins coaches and players have defended Taylor, saying he was smart and misunderstood. Taylor has been slow to let anyone in his inner circle. He has rarely spoken to reporters, saying he doesn’t trust them. Teammates said he became more mature over the last year after he became a father for the first time.
In 2005, Taylor was accused of brandishing a gun at a man and repeatedly hitting him during a fight that broke out after Taylor and some friends went looking for the people who had allegedly stolen his all-terrain vehicles.
Taylor reached a deal with prosecutors last year after they agreed to drop felony charges against him. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors in the assault case and was sentenced to 18 months probation. The pleas prompted another fine from the NFL but kept his football career intact.
He also was ordered to talk about the importance of education at 10 Miami schools and had to contribute $1,000 for scholarships to each of those schools.
The man Taylor allegedly hit, Ryan Hill, sued, seeking at least $15,000 in damages. Hill sustained bruises to his body, incurred medical expenses and lost wages because of the fight, the lawsuit said.
AP Sports Writers Howard Fendrich and Joseph White in Ashburn, Va., and Associated Press writer Jessica Gresko in Miami contributed to this report.
Support Local Journalism
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.