Redskins' Taylor Critically Hurt In Shooting at His Home in Fla.

By Amy Shipley and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

MIAMI, Nov. 26 -- Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor remained in critical condition in a Miami hospital Monday night after being shot early in the morning in his Miami home.

Taylor squeezed a doctor's hand and made facial expressions early in the evening, Redskins officials and a family friend said, providing some hope after he emerged from seven hours of surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital that left him "unresponsive and unconscious" and doctors fearing possible brain injury or death, according to Taylor's attorney, Richard Sharpstein.

"He's doing better than when they first brought him to the hospital," said Donald Walker, who identified himself as a friend of Taylor's mother, in a telephone interview Monday night. "He's unconscious, but he's somewhat responsive, I guess you could say that. When the doctor asked him to squeeze his hand, he did it."

Taylor, 24, 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.

No further surgical procedures were planned for Taylor, who was placed in intensive care, but doctors expressed concern that his brain could have been damaged from lack of oxygen, Sharpstein said. A Redskins team source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Taylor's heart stopped beating twice during surgery.

"We'd heard [about the dire situation] and what they told us was to hope for a miracle," said Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato, who flew to Miami with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, running back Clinton Portis and other team officials on Snyder's private jet.

News of Taylor's situation spread quickly through Redskins Park, the team's training facility in Ashburn. Normal team activities were suspended and players were dismissed. Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs and team chaplain Brett Fuller addressed the club around noon, informing them that Taylor was fighting for his life.

"For all of us here, we're obviously in shock," a shaken Gibbs told reporters. "I know I can't put it into words."

Taylor, the Redskins' top draft choice in 2004 who was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time last year, was having his best season as a professional before suffering a knee injury on Nov. 11 that forced him to miss the past two games.

Miami-Dade police responded to a 911 call at about 1:40 a.m. Monday at his home in an upscale suburb known as Palmetto Bay, a police spokesman said. Taylor was airlifted to the hospital's trauma unit.

No arrests were made. In a statement, Miami-Dade police said a preliminary investigation indicated that Taylor had been shot by an intruder, but that the investigation was not complete.

Taylor did not accompany the team to Tampa for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, which is customary for injured players who are undergoing medical treatment. Gibbs said he was unaware Taylor had returned to Miami, where he grew up and went to college at the University of Miami.

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