MIAMI Washington Redskins star safety Sean Taylor was shot in the leg at his home Monday and was bleeding heavily, and police said he was in critical condition. They are investigating a possible robbery.
Officers were sent to Taylor's home at about 1:45 a.m. after his girlfriend called 911 and said he was shot in his lower body, Lt. Nancy Perez said. He was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, she said, but did not disclose how many times he was shot.
Richard Sharpstein, an attorney who represented Taylor in a criminal case, said the player's father told him his son had been shot in the leg and there was much bleeding because the femoral artery was severed.
Investigators were still interviewing the girlfriend and other relatives who were in the home to try to determine what happened, Perez said.
"It could have been a possible burglary; it could have been a possible robbery," Perez said. "It has not been confirmed as yet."
Taylor has a home in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay that he bought two years ago. The 24-year-old player is in his fourth season with the Redskins after playing at the University of Miami, where he was an All-American in 2003. He leads the team with five interceptions but has missed the last two games because of a knee injury.
In Ashburn, Va., the Redskins canceled their scheduled open locker-room period for reporters and barred the media from talking to players. Coach Joe Gibbs was to address the team at its usual Monday meeting and was to hold his weekly news conference later in the day.
The Redskins (5-6) lost 19-13 at Tampa on Sunday. Taylor did not travel with the team to the game because of his knee injury.
Taylor sprained a ligament in his right knee in the second half of the Nov. 11 loss to Philadelphia. He was expected to miss at least two games, probably more.
Known as one of the NFL's hardest hitters, Taylor played in his first Pro Bowl last season, where he drew attention by leveling the other team's punter in what is usually a well-mannered exhibition game. Even though he has missed two games, his five interceptions remained tied for most in the NFC.
Taylor has been in trouble numerous times since he was drafted as the No. 5 overall pick 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. He 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 does not 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.
Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko in Miami and Joseph White in Ashburn, Va., contributed to this report.