The Denver Broncos’ chances of repeating as Super Bowl champs may now rest with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Dallas Police Department has determined Broncos’ star cornerback Aqib Talib was not shot by another person but shot himself during the early hours of June 5 in Dallas, according to WFAA-TV in Dallas.
During the Broncos’ White House visit on June 6, 9NEWS reported Talib had told people close to him that he had accidentally shot himself during the incident in question.
Police determined Talib’s bullet entered the rear of his upper right leg and exited the rear of his right calf – wounds that were consistent with an accidental shooting and injuries that sidelined Talib until mid-August.
He healed in time to become one of the NFL’s top defensive performers in the first quarter of the season. Talib had a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown that was a key play in the Broncos defeating Indianapolis in game 2 this season.
Talib then had two interceptions Sunday that set up touchdowns in the Broncos’ 27-7 win at Tampa Bay. The Broncos are 4-0 and Talib is right there with Von Miller as the biggest reasons why.
The key component to the WFAA report Monday was that Dallas police had concluded its investigation of the Talib shooting. 9NEWS reported on Aug. 18 that the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell would not usurp the ongoing investigation of the Dallas police department before considering whether Talib’s accidental shooting was in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
If the Dallas police has indeed concluded its investigation, then Talib’s fate rests with the league’s disciplinary committee and ultimately Goodell.
“It remains under review,’’ NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Tuesday evening of the Talib case.
WFAA had previously reported that Talib told police he was “too drunk to remember,” what happened in the early hours of June 5. There was a shooting that night at a Dallas nightclub that injured two other men. Talib reportedly was at the club that night but police have not determined whether he shot himself there or in a nearby park.
The combination of alcohol and a firearm may not sit well with the league, which has conducted its own investigation of the Talib incident. It’s unclear whether the league will consider Talib’s accidental shooting with that involving former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress at a Manhattan nightclub in 2008.
Burress was suspended four games by his team, the New York Giants, and then received a two-year prison sentence. He served 20 months and was signed a month later by the New York Jets.
It does not appear Talib will be charged in his case, although the league has made it clear it does not need a conviction to find a player in violation of its personal conduct policy.
On the night Talib was shot, police know two other men, Glen Lumpkin and Vernon White, were shot at the V Live club in Dallas. Lumpkin and White were listed by police as victims of aggravated assault.
That same night, Talib was taken to a hospital with a single gunshot that entered the “rear of his right thigh then exited his right calf,’’ according to the Dallas police report.
The witness who brought Talib to the hospital indicated the shot and injury occurred not at the nightclub but Hamilton Park, where a large group of people had gathered.