Redskins safety dies a day after being shot
Formal sentencing will come on Dec. 10
MIAMI — Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor died Tuesday after he was shot in his home by an apparent intruder, leaving the Washington Redskins in mourning for a teammate who seemed to have reordered his life since becoming a father.
The 24-year-old player died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he had been airlifted after the shooting early Monday.
“It is with deep regret that a young man had to come to his end so soon,” father Pedro Taylor said in a statement on behalf of the family. “Many of his fans loved him because the way he played football. Many of his opponents feared him the way he approached the game. Others misunderstood him, many appreciated him and his family loved him.”
A string of mourners, including Taylor’s father, visited the player’s home and embraced outside. Authorities entered the home, but it was unclear what they were doing.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will honor Taylor’s memory at all games this weekend.
“This is a terrible tragedy involving the loss of a young man who leaves behind many people struggling to understand it,” he said in a statement.
Taylor’s No. 21 will be painted in a grass parking area leading into Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. In addition, No. 21 will also be painted in front of the Redskins Hall of Fame store.
Fans already began a makeshift memorial by laying flowers on a field near the front entrance to the practice facility. Several people paid respects at Taylor’s parking space.
“This is the worst imaginable tragedy,” Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Sean’s family.”
Redskins teammate Clinton Portis also played with Taylor at the University of Miami. He had sensed a new maturity in his close friend.
“It’s hard to expect a man to grow up overnight,” Portis said. “But ever since he had his child, it was like a new Sean, and everybody around here knew it. He was always smiling, always happy, always talking about his child.”
Two bouquets were left by a palm tree outside a front gate of the home. Beside the mail-
tried separately. No hearing dates were set.
Vick and the three codefendants pleaded guilty to the federal charge in U.S. District Court in Richmond. In an Aug. 27 plea agreement, Vick admitted bankrolling a dogfighting enterprise and providing gambling money, as well as helping to kill six to eight dogs.
Tuesday, 10 protesters from the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stood outside the courthouse in rural southeastern Virginia. They held placards with pictures of injured dogs and the messages “Report Dogfighters!” and “Dogs Deserve Justice.”
“The message is loud and clear, that all dogfighters must be punished to the fullest extent of the law, no matter who they are,” PETA protester Melissa Karpel said.
The dogfighting operation known as Bad Newz Kennels operated since 2001 on Vick’s 15-acre spread in Surry County. A drug investigation of a Vick relative led authorities to the property, where they found more than 50 pit bulls and equipment commonly used in dogfighting.
Vick was suspended indefinitely by the NFL without pay, and he lost several lucrative endorsement deals. Also, an arbitrator has ruled Vick should repay the Falcons nearly $20 million in bonus money.