Suspects Detained for Questioning in Taylor Shooting

By Amy Shipley and Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, November 30, 2007; 2:56 PM

MIAMI, Nov. 30 -- A relative of slain Redskins safety Sean Taylor said the family was told by Miami-Dade police Friday that the investigation has focused on three men being questioned in the Fort Myers area.

News of the break in the case was first reported by the Miami Herald on its Web site. The Herald said police were talking to the three men -- aged 17, 19 and 26 -- and police believe the men had heard someone brag about Taylor's wealth. According to that report, the men were picked up Friday morning by agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and at least two Miami-Dade homicide squads.

Taylor's relative, who asked not to be named, said family members were briefed by a detective in the case early Friday. He said police told them that the men being questioned were from Miami but had fled to Fort Myers. The family was not told the names of the men, only that one was a juvenile, he said. But, he added, it was their understanding that the men do not have a personal connection to Taylor.

A police spokesman confirmed that officials have gone to Fort Myers as part of the probe.

"Our investigators are in Fort Myers conducting an investigation," said Miami Dade police spokesperson Robert Williams. He said he had no information on who, if anyone, was being questioned.

Richard Sharpstein, a former Taylor lawyer, told the Associated Press, "It's my understanding that three individuals are in custody. A house is being searched." Sharpstein did not disclose who gave him that information.

Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora reports on his blog that Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs, when told of the development at the team's practice facility in Ashburn, said, "I think that makes everybody around here extremely happy. We're thankful for that, and we appreciate all the hard work everybody put into that."

Running back Clinton Portis also seemed relieved. "Hopefully, these are the guys and we'll have something to cheer about and be excited about," he said. "Everybody wants to know why. But it's still not going to bring back Sean. . . . I'm sure everybody is just looking for a reason why Sean? Why him?"

Authorities have offered few details about the investigation since Taylor was shot after he and his girlfriend were awakened by an intruder at his home here early Monday. Miami-Dade police said Wednesday they have no suspects in the investigation and appealed for assistance from the public in solving the crime.

But they also said at the time that they had "no reason" to believe the break-in was anything other than a botched burglary and that the evidence suggested Taylor was a random victim. They were also investigating whether the shooting was related to a Nov. 17 break-in at Taylor's house in which someone pried open a window, rifled through drawers and left a kitchen knife on a bed.

Even so, Taylor's childhood friend Antrel Rolle, now a cornerback with the Arizona Cardinals, and others have postulated that Taylor was targeted by someone who harbored a grudge.

"This was not the first incident," Rolle said. "They've been targeting him for three years now."

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