| News |

Cops: Bronco Aqib Talib Shot Himself, but He Was Too Drunk to Remember

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Update: Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib is having a hell of a season so far, nabbing three interceptions in four games (including two last Sunday against Tampa Bay) and returning one for a touchdown.

Lucky thing, since his play on the field should distract from the latest evidence of his dumbassery off it.

Specifically, Dallas police reps speaking anonymously to WFAA-TV have revealed their conclusion that Talib, who was shot while visiting the city on June 5, pulled the trigger himself.

Not that Talib is likely to have a clear memory of the incident. As we noted in our previous coverage, on view below, he admits to having been too drunk to know exactly what went down — which explains in part the subsequent confusion. At first, Talib was said to have been perforated at a strip club where two other people took bullets. Now, however, the cops say they can't confirm Talib was ever at the club — and he maintains that the shooting actually happened at an area park. Beyond that, he can only recall the sound of a gunshot, after which he hit the ground while bleeding from his injury; the projectile entered the back of his right thigh and exited through his calf.

The police's conclusion likely ends the threat of law-enforcement action against Talib, but not the prospect of discipline from the NFL — if commissioner Roger Goodell can stop laughing long enough to suspend him, that is. Continue for our previous coverage.

Update, 5:27 a.m. June 7: While commenting on the shooting of Denver Bronco Aqib Talib in Dallas early Sunday morning, June 5 (see our previous coverage below), ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the star cornerback, who missed a visit to the White House with his teammates because of the incident, had "some 'splainin' to do."

Problem is, the credibility of the explanation Talib delivered to police is being widely questioned.

Talib maintains that he was shot at a Dallas park, not a strip club, on June 5.

But the time frame he offered is nearly an hour different from the one shared previously.

And he's short on additional details.

Why? Supposedly because he was so drunk at the time.

Initial reports said that two men were shot at V Live, a Dallas exotic-dancer hot spot — and Talib was transported from there to an area hospital in his Rolls Royce.

Here's video from outside the club obtained by TMZ. Four gunshots are clearly audible.

Now, however, WFAA in Dallas maintains that two other men were shot.

That means Talib would be the third person to take a bullet at the location.

But in a police report obtained by the station, Talib, who's had a history of trouble at clubs (those details are below as well), insists that he wasn't at V Live.

Instead, he told investigators that he was with a large group at Hamilton Park, a location seen in the following screen capture:

Was there a fight at the park? Or was something else going on that led to gunplay?

Talib doesn't seem to be the best source on these questions.

According to him, "Everything was a blur, and I was too intoxicated to remember what happened."

Beyond that, all he knows is that "I heard a single gunshot and fell to the ground."

This happened around 3:40 a.m. on the 5th, Talib insisted. The strip club shooting is said to have taken place at 2:45 a.m.

The bullet fired at Talib hit him in the back of his right thigh and exited through the calf below — a wound clean enough to prompt a positive prognosis from doctors. He's expected to make a complete recovery.

Observers like Kornheiser seem less optimistic that Talib's tale will hold up to closer scrutiny. And why being drunk and getting shot at a park at 3:40 a.m. is notably better than taking a bullet at a strip club at 2:45 a.m. isn't all that clear — to us, anyhow.

Here's the WFAA report, followed by our previous coverage.

Original post, 5:29 a.m. June 6: One significant contributor to the Denver Broncos's Super Bowl-winning 2015-2016 season had previously announced that he wouldn't be joining the squad for its visit to the White House, scheduled to take place today: former fill-in quarterback Brock Osweiler, who jumped to the Houston Texans during the off-season.

Now, however, another key Bronco, cornerback Aqib Talib, will be absent as well, and for a very different reason.

He was shot at V Live, a strip club in Dallas, early yesterday morning, June 5.

Talib, who was hit in the leg, is expected to make a complete recovery from the shooting, whose details remain sketchy at this writing.

And "sketchy" accurately describes a number of other incidents that have involved Talib over the years — most (but not all) of them taking place prior to him becoming a member of the Broncos in March 2014.

There's never been any doubt about Talib's skills on the field.

As detailed on his Wikipedia page, Talib, who attended high school in Richardson, Texas, was a standout collegiate player at the University of Kansas — good enough to be selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The choice paid off in 2010, when Talib was named the defensive back of the year by the  NFL Alumni Association.

But the Bucs wound up trading Talib to the New England Patriots in 2012 after he was suspended for four games due to a positive test for Adderall.

But this matter was arguably less troubling than several other off-the-field problems.

Here's a rundown from the Tampa Bay Times:

July 2008: Talib reportedly fights with fellow Bucs draft pick Cory Boyd at the rookie symposium, an event designed to help rookies make a smooth transition into the NFL. It’s unclear who started the fight or what was at issue.

May 2009: Talib strikes teammate Torrie Cox near the eye while wielding his helmet in an altercation with offensive tackle Donald Penn. Cox was attempting to be a peacemaker between the two when he was inadvertently hit by Talib. Cox required multiple stitches.
Asked about controlling his temper, Talib said, "I've definitely got to work on it. It's a family though. When you're out here with your brothers. . . I mean, you fight. It comes with being a family. We're all brothers out here. Me and Donald, we're perfectly fine today. It's behind us.”

August 2009: Talib is arrested in St. Petersburg for simple battery and resisting arrest for assaulting a cab driver from the back seat of the taxi. Talib later agrees to a pre-trial program with prosecutors and reaches an undisclosed financial settlement with the driver. The NFL hands down a 1-game suspension in 2010 for violating the personal-conduct policy.

November 2010: After a costly penalty in a close loss to the Ravens, Talib engages in a fierce argument with a game official and has to be restrained outside the team’s locker room. The official also responded with expletives. Then-coach Raheem Morris defended Talib, saying he didn’t do anything wrong.

March 2011: Talib and his mother, Okolo, are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an altercation with the live-in boyfriend of Talib’s sister. Talib is accused of firing shots during an argument on a residential street. The charges are later dropped, according to Talib’s attorney, because the prosecution’s witness was not credible.

These police interactions largely ended after Talib left Tampa in favor of the Patriots, followed by the Broncos. But the Dallas Morning News points out that he "made headlines last year at a downtown Dallas nightclub when he and his brother were alleged to have been involved in an altercation. An employee of the LUXX club told police that someone fired a shot in the air as he tried to break up a fight among three men."

The Morning News adds that the Dallas cops apologized to Talib in 2014 after reporting that he was publicly intoxicated at another Dallas club, Synn. Turns out the person who'd been cuffed was his older brother, Yaqub Talib.

With the Broncos, Talib mostly stirred controversy for gridiron actions — most notoriously by poking an Indianapolis Colts opponent in the eyes, as seen in the following screen capture.

As for the latest situation, the Morning News reveals that it took place at around 2:45 a.m. on the 5th.

One person was reportedly shot inside the club, possibly during a fight, while another person was wounded outside, where the fisticuffs gravitated.

Before long, Talib was identified as one of the pair who'd been hit — although sources told 9News that the whole thing may have been accidental.

WFAA-TV in Dallas subsequently noted that Talib was transported to an area hospital in his Rolls Royce.

Yesterday afternoon, the Broncos released the following statement:

We are in communication with Aqib Talib, who remains at a Dallas hospital for observation as he recovers from a gunshot wound suffered to his lower right leg on Sunday. He is expected to be released from the hospital soon, and we are glad he is OK and will make a full recovery.

Our organization has been in touch with the NFL on this matter, and we will provide additional updates as appropriate.

Will the league sanction Talib in any way for his actions early Sunday morning? Or will he be found to have been an innocent victim?

No telling yet — but the shooting is yet another cautionary tale about what can happen when professional athletes visit alcohol-rich environments during the wee hours.

As Talib should know by now.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.