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Published: Monday, 11/26/2007

Redskins safety Sean Taylor shot in Florida, in critical condition

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MIAMI Washington Redskins star safety Sean Taylor was in critical condition after he was shot at his Florida home Monday, police said.

Officers were dispatched to Taylor s home at about 1:45 a.m. He was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said. He didn t know what part of his body was injured.

Taylor s family asked that no information about his condition be released, hospital spokeswoman Lorraine Nelson said.

Taylor has a home in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay that he bought two years ago. The 24-year-old player is in his fourth season with the Redskins after playing at the University of Miami, where he was an All-American in 2003. He leads the team with five interceptions but has missed the last two games because of a knee injury.

Taylor has been in trouble numerous times since he was drafted as the No. 5 overall pick in 2004. He has been fined at least seven times during his professional career for late hits and other infractions, including a $17,000 penalty for spitting in the face of Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman during a playoff game in January 2006. He also was fined $25,000 for skipping a mandatory rookie symposium shortly after he was drafted.

Redskins coaches and players have defended Taylor, saying he was smart and misunderstood. Taylor has been slow let anyone into his inner circle. He has rarely spoken to reporters, saying he does not trust them. Teammates said he became more mature over the last year after he became a father for the first time.

In 2005, Taylor was accused of brandishing a gun at a man and repeatedly hitting him during a fight that broke out after Taylor and some friends went looking for the people who had allegedly stolen his all-terrain vehicles.

Taylor reached a deal with prosecutors last year after they agreed to drop felony charges against him. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors in the assault case and was sentenced to 18 months probation. The pleas prompted another fine from the NFL but kept his football career intact.

He also was ordered to talk about the importance of education at 10 Miami schools and had to contribute $1,000 for scholarships to each of those schools.

The man Taylor allegedly hit, Ryan Hill, sued, seeking at least $15,000 in damages.

Hill sustained bruises to his body, incurred medical expenses and lost wages because of the fight, the lawsuit said.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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