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Broncos player shot and killed

January 02, 2007|From the Associated Press

Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed early Monday when his white stretch Hummer was sprayed by bullets after a nightclub dispute following a New Year's Eve party.

Police have no motive and no indication the 24-year-old player was targeted in the drive-by shooting of the limousine.

"All of us are devastated by this tragedy," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement. "To lose a young player, and more important, a great young man such as Darrent Williams, is incomprehensible. To lose him in such a senseless manner as this is beyond words."

A little after 2 a.m., hours after the Broncos' season ended, the limousine was fired on from a vehicle that pulled up along its side, hitting three people, police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. As many as a dozen bullet holes were visible on the driver's side of the limo. One window was blown out. A man and a woman who were shot were not identified.

Coach Mike Shanahan said the killing left him "speechless with sadness."

"We all know that Darrent was an excellent player, but as a person, he was a first-class young man who brightened every room with his smile, attitude and personality," Shanahan said. "I cannot express how heartsick I feel at this loss."

Jackson said there was a dispute at a nightclub several blocks from the shooting where Williams had attended a party. He said the argument didn't specifically involve Williams, according to witnesses, and the incident was limited to taunting.

Jackson wouldn't identify the other passengers nor would he confirm whether other Broncos players were in the limo, which can hold 23 people. Broncos players and coaches didn't have to report to work Monday but about 20 of them gathered at team headquarters to console each other, including receiver Javon Walker, who the Rocky Mountain News said was in the limo when Williams was killed.

The nightclub had advertised a New Year's Eve event celebrating the birthday of Denver Nuggets player Kenyon Martin. Mark Warkentien, the Nuggets' vice president of basketball operations, spoke with police, who told him not to comment, team spokesman Eric Sebastian said.

The previous active NFL player to die was the 49ers' Thomas Herrion, who had a heart attack after a 2005 exhibition in Denver.

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