Ashburn, Va. Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's eyes were red. His voice cracked and was barely audible. Next to him sat coach Joe Gibbs, barely more composed.
Safety Sean Taylor 's violent death had left his team in tears and a league in mourning.
"This is a terrible, terrible tragedy," Snyder said.
Taylor died early Tuesday of a gunshot wound from an apparent intruder, a tragic end for a 24-year-old whose life was transformed by the birth of a daughter 18 months ago.
"We're going to miss him," Gibbs said. "I'm not talking about as a player. I'm talking about as a person."
A day earlier, Taylor and his girlfriend were awakened by loud noises, according to family friend Richard Sharpstein, who learned the details from Taylor's girlfriend, Jackie Garcia. He said Taylor grabbed a machete he keeps in the bedroom for protection. Someone then broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one missing and one hitting Taylor, Sharpstein said. Neither Taylor's daughter, Jackie, nor Taylor's girlfriend were injured in the attack.
The bullet damaged the femoral artery in Taylor's leg, causing significant blood loss. Taylor never regained consciousness, Sharpstein said, and the news that he had squeezed a nurse's hand late Monday only proved to give false hope.
"Maybe he was trying to say goodbye or something," Sharpstein said.
Redskins coach Gibbs said he did not know why Taylor returned to Miami during the weekend. Taylor was not required to accompany the team to Sunday's game at Tampa Bay because of a knee injury.
Police had no description of a possible suspect and were investigating whether the shooting was connected to a break-in at Taylor's home eight days earlier, in which police said someone pried open a front window, rifled through drawers and left a kitchen knife on a bed.
Authorities from Miami-Dade Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were in and out of Taylor's home throughout the day. Police were seen taking a computer from Taylor's home.
A stream of family and friends arrived throughout the day, including his father, Florida City police chief Pedro Taylor. Some embraced outside; most came and went without speaking to a horde of several dozen reporters.
Dolphins' Williams finished
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - After nearly two years out of the NFL, it took running back Ricky Williams six carries and less than half a game to halt his comeback Monday night. A torn muscle in Williams' chest has ended his season, according to his agent, Leigh Steinberg.
Ex-guard Willis dies at 86
Columbus, Ohio - Bill Willis, a Hall of Fame guard with the Cleveland Browns who also was Ohio State's first black football All-American, died Tuesday night, a university spokesman said. He was 86.