Guest Author - Nicole Collins
The Washington Redskins will hold a tribute and have a moment of silence in honor of Sean Taylor this Sunday prior to their game against the Buffalo Bills.
The 24-year-old star was shot inside his Miami home by an intruder on Monday, November 26. He was immediately air-lifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he died on Tuesday. The young father leaves behind his girlfriend and their 18-month-old daughter.
Mourners gathered outside Taylor’s home on Tuesday, and since then, fans have created an improvised memorial placing cards and flowers in a field outside the home. "It is with deep regret that a young man had to come to his end so soon," his father, Pedro Taylor, said 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."
Redskins Head Coach Joe Gibbs said he would mostly remember Taylor’s passion for football. "God made him to play football," he said in a news conference. "To me, he just loved and thrived on the competition part of it. ... Sean, he loved football. He loved these guys here."
So far, four people have been charged with unpremeditated murder. Reportedly, more than one has confessed. Three have appeared in court and are being held without bond. The suspects - Venjah K. Hunte, 20; Eric Rivera Jr., 17; Jason Scott Mitchell, 19; and Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow, 18 – all reside in Fort Myers, about 160 miles outside of Miami. Police believe there are strong ties between Taylor and several of the suspects.
It is apparent that the suspects invaded Taylor’s home not expecting him to be there. When Taylor heard the intruders, he grabbed a machete that he kept in his room for self-defense, startled the intruders, and was shot in the leg. Taylor’s girlfriend and daughter were also in the house but were uninjured.
Doctors felt optimistic on Monday night when Taylor reportedly squeezed a nurse’s hand. However, he never regained consciousness after arriving at the hospital.
Experts say the injury Taylor suffered is one of the most difficult to fix. The gunshot ruptured the femoral artery which leads from the abdomen through the upper thigh. It can quickly drain the body of blood which prevents oxygen from reaching the brain and vital organs.
Taylor, a Miami native, was well-known for his deviant behavior in the past. He had previously faced several arrests and was known for rebellious conduct as a Redskin. He often times ignored coach Gibbs’ rules and missed practices. He was arrested for brandishing a gun in 2005 – a charge that almost landed him in jail. As a rookie, Taylor was arrested for a DUI. But all of that changed this past year.
Since becoming a father, Taylor had begun to turn his life around. Gibbs said in a press conference that Taylor had recently become a Christian. “He had a great relationship with the Lord,” he said. Taylor was Gibbs’ first draft pick since returning to the Redskins as head coach.