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Jags Linesman Collier shot Life threatning injuries


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Jags' Collier Shot, Has Life-Threatening Injuries

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) ― Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier was shot and critically wounded outside an apartment building early Tuesday as he and a former Jacksonville teammate waited for two women they had met at a nightclub, police said.

 

Collier, 26, and former Jaguars defensive end Kenneth Pettway were waiting in a Cadillac Escalade when a gunman fired into the vehicle, said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman Ken Jefferson. Collier was shot several times, but it wasn't clear where he was hit.

 

Collier was in critical condition at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said early Tuesday. Later, spokesman Chris Turner said the hospital was no longer giving updates on Collier's condition. There are a variety of reasons that can happen, such as a request by relatives.

 

Wayne Weaver, owner of the Jaguars, said in a statement released by the team: "We're shocked and deeply saddened by this morning's news about Richard Collier. We have been informed that Richard has had surgery and he's in critical but stable condition. The entire Jaguars family is praying for Richard and his family at this time."

 

The motive behind the attack was unknown, and the sheriff's office was investigating. Pettway, who was released in final cuts Saturday, was not injured.

 

The shooting happened around 2:45 a.m. in a middle- to upper middle-class neighborhood just west of downtown Jacksonville and blocks from the St. Johns River. The players had gone to the apartment complex so the women could drop off their car, authorities said.

 

The women, who appeared to be in their 20s, were wearing nightclub dresses when they were escorted by police back to the complex midmorning Tuesday, but they declined comment. Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards declined comment at the hospital. The team planned to release a statement later in the day.

 

Collier is the third NFL player to be shot in the past 18 months. Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor was fatally shot during what police said was a botched burglary attempt at his Miami-area home in November. Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed when his rented limousine was sprayed with bullets minutes after leaving a New Year's party at a downtown Denver club in 2007.

 

Entering his third year after making the team as an undrafted rookie free agent, Collier competed for the starting job at left tackle but was beaten out by Khalif Barnes in the preseason.

 

Still, the Jaguars believe Collier could be a future starter. They signed him to a contract extension earlier this year despite an arrest last season.

 

The 6-foot-7, 345-pound linemen was arrested Nov. 3 after officers found him asleep behind the wheel at a McDonald's drive-thru window. Collier failed field sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol level of .096, according to police. In Florida, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.

 

Collier was suspended two games and fined by coach Jack Del Rio.

 

Collier's attorney disputed the police report and recommended that his client go to trial, but Collier didn't want the team to have to deal with the negative attention it would have generated. So he pleaded no contest and accepted six months of probation.

 

He publicly vowed to stay out of trouble, not wanting to blow his chance of becoming an every-down starter in the NFL.

 

Coming out of high school in Shreveport, La., Collier didn't have the grades or test scores to attend most colleges, so he stayed home with his mother and got a job in the produce department at Wal-Mart.

 

He worked there for two years before deciding to give football another chance. He enrolled at Tyler Junior College in Texas, about 90 miles west of Shreveport. He showed up weighing 390 pounds, having not lifted a weight since high school.

 

Collier quickly got his grades -- and body -- in shape and worked his way into the starting lineup. He transferred to Valdosta State in 2004 and helped the Blazers win the Division II national championship that season. He earned All-America honors as a senior in 2005.

 

But he failed to impress many NFL scouts.

 

The Jaguars were the only team to bring Collier in for a workout before the draft, so signing with Jacksonville as an undrafted rookie was an easy decision. His only other choice, he thought, was to go back to the produce section.

 

"It took me to lose everything to recognize how much I had," Collier said during his rookie season. "It was a blessing, really. I found out how it would be if I didn't work hard and apply myself."

 

 

(? 2008 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Unfortunately, this thread needs to be bumped. Collier is paralyzed and had his left leg amputated. Thank God he is alive, but it's unfortunate he'll never play football again and his life is now significantly altered. I pray for him and his family. As a Jags fan, he'll always be a member of our family! Stay strong Collier!

 

Doctors: Shot Jacksonville lineman is paralyzed

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier, shot earlier this month, is paralyzed below the waist and had his left leg amputated. Dr. Andy Kerwin, a surgeon for the University of Florida at Shands Jacksonville hospital, said Collier, who had 14 bullet wounds, is now in good condition after being previously listed in critical condition.

 

Kerwin said Collier had bullet wounds to the back, left groin, left legs and right buttock. In addition, a bullet severed his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down. The amputation was the result of damage to his left leg and groin, which had blood clots.

 

The 26-year-old Collier had five bullets removed from his urinary bladder and suffered bouts of pneumonia, infections and renal failure.

 

The player will undergo physical therapy to learn to get from his bed to a wheelchair. He will never walk again, the doctor said.

 

Collier was on a ventilator for about three weeks and has no memory of the shooting, Kerwin said.

 

"His overall condition has improved greatly," Kerwin said. "We expect him to be discharged soon."

 

Collier's agent Jeff Jankovich said the player's family wanted to make sure Collier understood what had happened to him before releasing it to the public. He said they even kept the Jaguars in the dark.

 

"He has extreme grief for a lifetime of dreams he won't be able to fulfill," the agent said.

 

Jankovich refused to say when Collier would be released, citing security concerns.

 

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio and several players attended the news conference.

 

"It's a tragedy this young man was caught up in this violence," Del Rio said. "It's a great tragedy for a young man who had such a promising future."

 

Offensive tackle Tony Pashos said, "It has been difficult. I think about him a lot."

 

Collier and former teammate Kenneth Pettway were waiting for two women outside an apartment complex early Sept. 2 when a gunman fired into the vehicle, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Pettway was not injured.

 

The motive behind the attack on Collier is unknown, but investigators said earlier he appeared to be targeted. Police have made no arrests in the shooting.

 

Collier was in his third year with the NFL after graduating from Valdosta State.

 

Collier was the third NFL player shot in the past 18 months. Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor was fatally shot during what police said was a botched burglary attempt at his Miami-area home in November. Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed when his rented limousine was sprayed with bullets minutes after leaving a New Year's party at a club in 2007.

 

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/8621006...an-is-paralyzed

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