Sean Taylor, Redskins Safety, Murdered

Sean Taylor, Redskins Safety, Murdered Photo 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

FILED UNDER: Guns and Gun Control, Policing, Uncategorized, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. i was genuinely brought to tears when i heard of this news this morning when i came into the office. i just couldn’t believe it! just yesterday there seemed to have been hope for the young taylor and then he dies.

    i believe anyone that has any compassion for human life and has witnessed this young man change his life in a more positive direction would be hurt by this devastating news.

    sean was a living testament of how one can truly change for the better and there is no way no one could pull inspiration for his game play; he was a phenomenal young man and it hurts that his life was cut so short. my heart goes out to his family and hopefully justice will be served very soon; he deserves that much.

  2. Christopher says:

    Yes, but what is tragic is that so many people and kids look up to this guy, but who is really nothing but a “gangsta” wannabe. I believe that many more revealing details will be coming out about this sad incident that will reveal a murky sordid and most likely illegal situation personally involving Taylor, who most likely brought all this on himself.

  3. christopher, i am more apt to believe this shawn’s shooting had more to do with his past than his present. you could very well be in your assumption and only time will be able to tell why this plot was executed the way it was and why it lead to his death.

  4. Dave J says:

    Tragic indeed. No doubt the intruders were aware that he was on probation for the early violation and less likely to be possessing a firearm. Not sure if they new he was home either as he was supposed to be with his teammates in Tampa. I guess his girlfriend’s exs and the fellows he had the run in with over the ATV are being questioned.

  5. graywolf says:

    You lie down with dogs, you get fleas.
    This guy got a fatal dose of fleas.

  6. Bailey says:

    This is a tragedy…I can not believe that someone would walk into a mans house and shoot him…I can’t imagine the process of waking up to an intruder in your home and then all the sudden “BOOM” a shot and you think that you will make it because you were shot in your leg and then “BOOM” your dead…I can’t imagine what Mrs.Taylor and Miss Taylor are going through…He may have surrounded himself with people that he shouldn’t have…but this night…The night that someone decided his life was worth giving up so that they didn’t get caught robbing his home was the night he would die…In front of the Mrs. and that Misses….I hope that whomever has done this is shot in the leg and allowed to die slowly…I will pray for your family Sean. “With God all things are possible.”

  7. Bailey, I too thought Christopher’s comment was a bit insensitive to this situation. I honestly couldn’t believe he would say something like that. May we all hope that it doesn’t happen to him or anyone in his family because people will say “Christopher brought it on himself….” To say that someone brought something like this upon themselves in so many ways is saying that they deserved to die. Sean Taylor didn’t deserve to lose his life so senselessly.

    Marcus Langford