A former NFL player died in his grandmother’s backyard Wednesday after being shot in the chest.
Terrell Roberts—who played two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals—had been visiting his grandmother’s home in Richmond, California when witnesses reported hearing a “disturbance” in the garage, Richmond Police Sgt. Enrik Melgoza told CNN. The 38-year-old then stumbled out into the backyard where he died.
Police were called to the home around 4:10 p.m. Wednesday and discovered Roberts with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Authorities are now searching for the suspect, who is described as a bald, black male with a short beard between the ages of 20 and 35 years old. He’s estimated to be about 250 pounds.
“The relationship between the suspect and Mr. Roberts is still unclear at this time,” Melgoza told The Mercury News. “The home belongs to his grandmother. Lots of family members live there. This was not something that was random.”
Roberts' family told local station KPIX that he had a “heart of gold.” They also didn’t believe the 38-year-old had any known enemies and said he was not “mixed up in anything bad.”
As the news of the former cornerback’s death spread, many of his former teammates took to social media to express their grief.
“I’m crushed to hear the news of the passing of my teammate and friend Terrell Roberts,” Jonathan Smith said on Twitter. “Prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Smith, who now coaches the Oregon State University Beavers, was a teammate of Roberts when both played for Oregon State, according to The Oregonian.
Shaun Smith—who retired from the NFL in 2013—also remembered his one-time teammate.
“Man am tired of waking up everyday to bad news another one of my former teammates what’s shot and killed rest easy Terrell Roberts one of the strongest DBs to play the game rest easy my boy,” he wrote on Twitter.
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