Redskins’ Sean Taylor dies day after being shot in Miami home

Washington Redskins fans Natalie Ragnati, left, and Amy Goldsmith, comfort each other near a makeshift memorial for Redskins safety Sean Taylor, on Tuesday at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. Kevin Wolf, , The Associated Press

AP

Washington Redskins fans Natalie Ragnati, left, and Amy Goldsmith, comfort each other near a makeshift memorial for Redskins safety Sean Taylor, on Tuesday at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. Kevin Wolf, , The Associated Press

By Matt Sedensky

MIAMI – Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor died Tuesday after he was shot in his home by an apparent intruder, leaving the Washington Redskins in mourning for a teammate who seemed to have reordered his life since becoming a father.

The 24-year-old player died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he had been airlifted after the shooting early Monday.

“It is with deep regret that a young man had to come to his end so soon,” father Pedro Taylor said in a statement on behalf of the family. “Many of his fans loved him because the way he played football. Many of his opponents feared him the way he approached the game. Others misunderstood him, many appreciated him and his family loved him.”

A string of mourners, including Taylor’s father, visited the player’s home and embraced outside. Authorities entered the home, but it was unclear what they were doing.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will honor Taylor’s memory at all games this weekend.

“This is a terrible tragedy involving the loss of a young man who leaves behind many people struggling to understand it,” he said in a statement.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said what he would remember most about Taylor was his excitement about playing football.

“God made him to play football,” Gibbs said Tuesday during a news conference. “To me, he just loved and thrived on the competition part of it … Sean, he loved football. He loved these guys here.”

Gibbs acknowledged it will be hard to concentrate on football this week.

Fans already had begun a makeshift memorial by laying flowers on a field near the front entrance to the Redskins’ practice facility in Ashburn, Va.

“This is a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said.

He added the team would honor Taylor with a patch on the jersey and the No. 21 on the helmet.

Taylor led the NFL in missed tackles in 2006 yet made the Pro Bowl because of his reputation as one of the hardest hitters in the league.

Associated Press Writers Jessica Gresko in Miami and Joseph White in Ashburn, Va., contributed to this report.