Too often, the world of crime intrudes on the world of sports, and this time it’s even more of a tragedy. Darrent Williams, who hours earlier had a sack and a forced fumble as a cornerback in Denver’s loss to San Francisco, died in a hail of bullets, a victim of a drive-by shooting:
Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed in a drive-by shooting early Monday morning in downtown Denver.
Denver Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano confirmed the fatal shooting and said that police called the Broncos organization at 3 a.m. and told them that Williams had died. …
Williams, 24, was riding in a stretch Hummer limousine on Speer Boulevard near 11th Avenue just after 2 a.m., when the shooting occurred. The shots came from another vehicle and two other people in the limo — a man and a woman — were also hit. Their conditions were not known. …
The limo ran off the road near the intersection and had police tape around it shortly after the shooting. Bullet holes could plainly be seen in several of the limo doors.
What a tragedy. Williams had just completed his second year in the NFL and had a promising career in front of him. Instead, he will be most known for his last moments in life as a victim of violence at the start of the new year.
Our prayers go to the Williams family and to the Broncos organization.
UPDATE: How’s this for bitter irony? Williams wanted to volunteer his time to talk kids out of joining gangs:
Anthony Criss, Williams’ high school football coach in Fort Worth, Texas, spoke with the cornerback often, and as recently as two weeks ago.
“When he was younger, he always gravitated to the wrong crowd,” Criss said. “I remember he went to church and the minister was talking to him about needing to pray and stop hanging around with the wrong people, and he started straightening up and doing the right thing.”
Williams matured at Oklahoma State, turning his eye toward pro football, Criss said.
“I visited him his junior year, and he was grown,” Criss said. “Everything was, `Yes, sir. No, sir.'”
In December, Williams spoke of returning to his hometown this offseason to talk to youngsters about staying out of gangs. Williams, who has two young children in the Fort Worth area, recently talked to Criss about establishing a free football camp for youth players.
What a tragedy — and how pointless it all is.