Washington Redskins Safety Dies

Sean Taylor had been shot in the leg in an apparent home robbery and reportedly never regained consciousness after being taken to the hospital.

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BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

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ALISON STEWART, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News, your home for news, information. Today, a little something for your inner "Battlestar Galactica" geek.

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STEWART: I'm Alison Stewart.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Hi. And I'm Rachel Martin, filling in for Luke Burbank.

It is Tuesday, November 27th. And Alison, we're in New York City. Famous people come into our studio a lot.

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MARTIN: It's so exciting. I mean, usually, you know, it's all right. We give them a little nod. But the other day, we had a bigwig coming in. In our world, this guy is the guru of all things funny. Steve Martin came in.

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STEWART: And we'll show you our geeked out picture with Steve Martin. We were all ridiculous.

Coming up on the show today, we're going to talk about the Annapolis conference. It is finally here. Representatives from 40 countries trying in some way to kick start the peace process in the Mideast.

MARTIN: Good luck to them. We're also going to talk about campaign books. You know, those old one floating around, maybe on your bookshelves, about things that happened 20 years ago? We'll dust them off. We're going to talk to a journalist and author Matt Bai about what modern lessons you can glean from these old political gems.

STEWART: We'll also go to Matt Martinez for the today's headlines in just a minute.

But first, here's the BPP's Big Story.

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STEWART: Twenty-four-year-old Washington Redskin's safety Sean Taylor has died a day after being shot in the leg in his own home in a Miami suburb. Family friend Richard Sharpstein tells the Associated Press, quote, "It's a tremendously sad and unnecessary event. He was a wonderful, humble, talented young man, and had a huge life in front of him. Obviously, God had other plans."

MARTIN: One report said doctors were encouraged last night when Taylor squeezed a nurse's hand. But Sharpstein said he was told Taylor never regained consciousness after being transported to the hospital.

STEWART: Taylor was at home early Monday morning when someone shot him in the leg, damaging an artery and causing significant blood loss.

Miami-Dade police are investigating the attack, which an official calls a, quote, "possible burglary."

MARTIN: Taylor was in Florida, recovering from a knee injury.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, speaking at a news conference yesterday when Taylor was still in critical condition, had this to say.

Mr. JOE GIBBS (Coach, Washington Redskins): Certainly, for all of us here and then for Sean and his family - I talked to his dad this morning - it's a hard time for everybody. I think everybody could imagine - like I said, I'm sure I'm not doing a real good job of telling you how everybody feels.

STEWART: Redskins tight end Chris Cooley also struggled yesterday to find the right words.

Mr. CHRIS COOLEY (Tight End, Washington Redskins): It's so tough. I mean, it's something that's just so unexpected. It's something that you just don't ever think of. It's just - it's hard.

MARTIN: Police say the shooting came eight days after a break-in at Taylor's home when an intruder rifled through drawers and left a kitchen knife on a bed.

STEWART: Taylor was known as one of football's hardest hitters, and he played at his first Pro Bowl season last season. He was tied for the NFC lead this season with five interceptions, despite missing the past two games with an injury.

MARTIN: The early part of Taylor's career was somewhat troubled. Last year, he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to 18 months probation after he brandished a gun at a man. He was also fined at least seven times during his career for late hits and other infractions.

STEWART: Yet the son of a Florida police chief appeared to turn things around after the birth of his daughter last year. He was a new man, according to friends. Redskins teammate and close friend Clinton Portis, who also played with Taylor in college, said, quote, "It's hard to expect the man to grow up overnight, but ever since he had a child, it was like a new Sean."

MARTIN: Redskins' safety Sean Taylor died at the age of 24.

That's the BPP Big Story.

Now, here's Matt Martinez with even more news.

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