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The brother of a retired NFL cornerback has turned himself in to police following the shooting of a beloved youth football league coach over the weekend in the Dallas area.
Yaqup Talib, 39, was identified as the suspect and police issued a first-degree felony warrant for murder for his arrest on Sunday. He’s being held at the Dallas County Jail on murder and probation violation charges.
Talib and his brother, Aqib Talib, are both coaches with the North Dallas United Bobcats, according to multiple media reports.
The shooting victim, Michael Hickmon, 43, was coaching a 9-and-under squad that played against a team affiliated with the Talib brothers, according to the Washington Post.
Lancaster police responded to a shooting at a community park where the game was being played. Hickmon was rushed to the hospital, but later died from his injuries.
“There was a disagreement between the opposing coaching staff(s) of two youth football teams over calls made by the officiating crew,” police told the Washington Post, citing witnesses.
That apparently led to a fight and a witness allegedly saw Talib shoot another man, later identified as Hickmon, several times with a semi-automatic handgun, before fleeing the scene armed with a weapon, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by WFAA.
Hickmon was shot in the chest, back and forearm, according to the affidavit.
Clark Birdsall, an attorney for Yaqup Talib, issued a statement on his client’s behalf, according to WFAA.
“Mr. Talib regrets the tragic loss of life but went ahead and turned himself into the law this morning [Monday] so his side of the story could be told."
He later added: "[Talib] feels terrible the whole thing happened. But ... I think there's some heavy defensive overtones to what happened out there on that playing field. And in time, that'll all come out."
Mike Freeman, a team official with Hickmon’s team, the D.E.A Dragons, told WFAA that the fight started when Hickmon attempted to pick up the football and someone kicked it away.
Family, friends, and colleagues are mourning the former high school and University of North Texas football player.
"He was a gentle giant and had a lot of great perspectives," said ex-teammate Scott Hall. "He was an outstanding leader to a lot of us younger guys on and off the field."
Dozens of kids were on the field when the shooting took place, including Hickmon’s 9-year-old son.
“I held his son, Little Mike Jr, and I held him like my son, and it was very, very, very hard to hold him and console him because again – just letting him know that we’ll be there for him," Freeman told WFAA.
“I’m at a loss for words. I don’t know how to explain it to the kids. That’s the part that I’m stuck on right now. How do I explain it to them. Why?" Freeman said. “This is something that these kids will remember for the rest of their life. They’ll never forget this moment.”
Frank Perez, an attorney for Aqib Talib told the Washington Post that his client “was present when this unfortunate incident occurred and is very distraught and devastated over this terrible loss of life. He would like to convey his condolences to the family of the victim and to everyone who witnessed this unfortunate tragedy.”
Perez also made a point of emphasizing that Aqib Talib is not a suspect in the shooting and was not questioned by police.
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