Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another Athlete Falls Victim To Violence

By The Associated Press
Richard Collier was shot while sitting in a vehicle early Tuesday, police said.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville offensive tackle Richard Collier was shot and critically wounded outside an apartment building early Tuesday as he and a former teammate waited for two women they had met at a nightclub, police said. Collier, 26, and ex-Jaguars defensive end Kenneth Pettway, 25, were waiting in a Cadillac Escalade when a gunman fired into the vehicle, said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman Ken Jefferson. The 6-foot-7, 345-pound Collier reportedly was shot several times, but it wasn't clear where he was hit. Collier was in critical condition at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said early Tuesday. Later, spokesman Chris Turner said the hospital was no longer giving updates on Collier's condition. Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said Collier's family had requested privacy. Del Rio said the organization paused, taking a break from preparing for the season opener Sunday at Tennessee and focusing on what he called "a very unfortunate incident, really, really a shame." "Right now, he's battling for his life," Del Rio said of Collier on his weekly radio show. "All we can do right now is pray for healing." Several Jaguars, including ex-Washington Huskies tackle Khalif Barnes, gathered at the hospital. Barnes won the recent competition with Collier for the job as Jacksonville's starting left tackle. Pettway, who was cut from the team Saturday, was not shot.
The motive behind the attack was unknown, and the sheriff's office was investigating. Collier and Pettway had gone to the apartment complex so the women could drop off their car, authorities said. The women declined to comment when they were escorted by police back to the complex.
Collier is the third league player to be shot in the last 21 months. Sean Taylor of the Washington team was fatally shot during what police said was a botched burglary attempt at his Miami-area home in November. Denver cornerback Darrent Williams was killed when his rented limousine was sprayed with bullets minutes after leaving a New Year's party at a club in 2007.

The violence is senseless and needs to stop, prayers go out to the Richard and his family. Get well soon.

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