MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor died Tuesday, a day after he was shot by “an intruder who forcibly entered his residence,” Miami police said. Sean Taylor never regained consciousness after being taken to a hospital, his ex-attorney says. Police said in a statement that Taylor, 24, died at 3:30 a.m. at a Miami hospital and they were treating the case as a homicide.
“The blood loss was too much. He didn’t make it,” said Taylor’s former attorney, Richard Sharpstein, on CNN’s “American Morning.” Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said Tuesday that team members will wear a special patch on their uniforms, and Taylor’s number, 21, on their helmets, during this weekend’s game. Watch a vigil outside hospital Monday night Â» Many of Taylor’s fans “loved him because [of] the way he played football,” said his father, Florida City Police Chief Pedro Taylor, in a statement to the news media.
“Many of his opponents feared him, the way he approached the game. Others misunderstood him, many appreciated him and his family loved him. I can only hope and pray that Sean’s life was not in vain that it might touch others in a special way,” Chief Taylor said. His father said funeral arrangements would be announced soon, while a makeshift memorial was already sprouting up outside the Redskins Park, where fans have been leaving flowers and other mementoes.
“We’re going to miss him,” Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said Tuesday. “I’m not talking about as a player, I’m talking about as a person. I think he was a real leader for us.” “We have never dealt with this,” Gibbs said, adding that the situation was not something a team could prepare for. “I don’t know how we’ll deal with it, except that we’re going to all do it together, and I know we’ve got a great, high-quality bunch of guys here,” he said.
“The thing that I take great heart in is … the way our team fights and the kind of people we’ve got on our football team. We’ve gone through some tough things, everybody knows, this year. But what I’ve admired about our guys, they come out swinging every week.” “It’s just an incredibly difficult time,” Snyder said. “It’s a shock. And this is a terrible, terrible tragedy. It’s pretty rough.”
The Redskins painted Taylor’s jersey number, “21,” in a grassy area along the road leading into Redskins Park, and his number will be painted outside the Redskins Hall of Fame store at FedExField. Sharpstein said that from the time of the attack, Taylor never regained consciousness. “There was a brief moment where a nurse felt him squeeze her hand, but that was false hope,” the attorney said. He called Taylor’s death “completely tragic and unnecessary violence” and said the player would be sorely missed. Watch fans mourn Taylor’s death Â»
“People loved him, and he will be long missed by many, many people — not just his fans, but the family and friends that knew him well,” Sharpstein said. At 1:45 a.m. Monday, a woman identified as Taylor’s girlfriend called 911 and said someone had been shot. Taylor was airlifted to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. Sharpstein said Taylor’s girlfriend told police what happened as she was hiding under bedcovers during the attack.
“Sean was awakened with his girlfriend and 18-month-old baby,” Sharpstein said. There were “noises, thumps in the living room.” Taylor “got up and locked the bedroom door. Before he could do anything, the door was kicked in and two shots were fired — one hit him in the leg, one went into the wall.” Taylor “was on the floor, nonresponsive, bleeding out and chest heaving, eyes rolled back, and he was pretty much gone from that point on,” Sharpstein said.