Washington Redskins tight end Jimmie Johnson was arrested near his home in Sterling late Wednesday night on charges of firing a handgun within 100 yards of a state highway and carrying a concealed weapon.
Police say Johnson, 24, was shooting target practice with a .38 caliber semi-automatic handgun near the W&OD bike path at about 11:30 p.m. A Loudoun County Sheriff's deputy drove by and heard the shots, police said.
Police said Johnson was charged with concealing the weapon because he put it in a pocket when a deputy approached. Both charges carry maximum penalties of 12 months in jail and a $2,000 fine upon conviction.
Authorities said Johnson was cooperative when arrested, and was released on recognizance. He faces a hearing Nov. 19 in General District Court in Leesburg.
The Redskins' vice president of communications, Charlie Dayton, said club officials had been made aware of the incident but were deferring comment to Johnson's attorney, Benjamin F. Wilson.
"Very simply," Wilson said, "we regret that this happened.
"I think Jimmie would like to apologize to the people in that community and to Redskins fans in general. He is thankful no one was harmed."
Wilson said he was not aware of Johnson having any prior arrest record, and would discuss the matter further with the commonwealth attorney's office.