Sean Taylor, Redskins Safety, Murdered
Redskins safety Sean Taylor has died from gunshot wounds.
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor died early Tuesday from the gunshot wound he suffered a day earlier in his Miami home.
“He did not make it through the night,” said Taylor’s attorney, Richard Sharpstein, who called the incident “a ridiculous, unnecessary tragedy.”
Taylor, 24, a Pro Bowl safety whose rocky first years in the NFL had given way to what teammates called a newfound maturity, died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he had been taken after being shot once in the leg early Monday morning. Police are investigating the incident as a possible home invasion.
Redskins Park was mostly quiet Tuesday morning as grim-faced team officials trickled into work. A small bouquet of white flowers had been placed at the main entrance and flags were lowered to half-staff. Fans, who had gathered Monday with candles, returned Tuesday morning to huddle near Taylor’s parking spot. The team posted a brief statement on its Web site saying only that Taylor’s family had notified the team “that Taylor passed away.”
Taylor confronted one or more intruders early Monday morning at the bedroom door of the house he shares with his fiancee and 18-month-old daughter, and was shot in the upper thigh near the femoral artery, Sharpstein said. The fiancee and child were uninjured, but Taylor lost significant amounts of blood and received a number of transfusions, according to Sharpstein and a source at the hospital.
The shooting came eight days after another incident was reported at Taylor’s home. An intruder pried open a front window, went through drawers and a safe and left a kitchen knife on a bed, according to the police report of the Nov. 18 incident.
Since the Redskins drafted Taylor, the safety has had several brushes with the law and National Football League rules. Taylor was charged with a felony count of aggravated assault with a firearm for allegedly brandishing a gun in a Miami neighborhood in 2005. Taylor reached a plea agreement and avoided jail time, but was fined $71,764 by the NFL for violating the personal conduct clause of his contract.
The NFL also has fined Taylor for illegal hits, uniform violations and spitting on Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman during a playoff game in January 2006. In 2004, Gibbs suspended Taylor for one game after he was arrested for driving under the influence; those charges were later dropped.
In the past two years, however, Taylor has earned praise from coaches and teammates for maturing and better work habits. Portis, a former University of Miami teammate, said Taylor had grown up considerably since the birth of his daughter, Jackie, in May 2006. “It’s hard to expect a man to grow up overnight,” Portis said before departing for Miami. “But ever since he had this child it was like a new Sean. And everybody around here knew it. He was always smiling, always happy, always talking about his child.”
Despite a middle class background (his father is a police chief and his mother a school official), Taylor somehow adopted the thug lifestyle so common to football players at “The U.” He’d apparently snapped out of it but continued to surround himself with the wrong element.
The Redskins’ site doesn’t have much yet. Their official statement, under the euphemistic headline “Taylor Passes Away At Age 24”:
The family of Sean Taylor has notified the Redskins that Taylor passed away Tuesday morning at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
He was 24 years old.
In a statement from Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder “this is the worst imagineable tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sean’s family.”
Taylor was injured Monday in a shooting at his residence in Miami and did not survive.
See also, “Washington Redskins Safety Sean Taylor shot at home” (Bill Jempty, OTB Sports)
Photo credit: MSNBC