Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib claims only his mother fired a gun during a domestic incident that resulted in both being charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the St. Petersburg Times reported Thursday.
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Talib surrendered to authorities in Garland, Texas, Wednesday before posting a $25,000 bond. Police accuse both Talib and his mother, Okolo, of shooting at 40-year-old Shannon Billings, the longtime boyfriend of Talib’s sister.
Clint Bowen, who coached Talib at the University of Kansas, said Talib told him a few days ago that he never fired a gun.
"He said, ‘Man, I didn’t do a thing. It’ll all come out soon.’ He just kept saying that … He said, ‘I didn’t do that. That was my mom. It’s all going to come out,’ ” Bowen told the paper.
Talib reportedly assembled a legal team consisting of Pittsburgh sports attorney Jay Reisinger, who has represented Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte and Sammy Sosa on steroid allegations, Dallas criminal attorney Frank Perez, and a private investigator.
The investigator, David Lozano, has interviewed witnesses to the domestic disturbance, according to the report.
The charge of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, according to Garland police.
According to the arrest affidavit for Okolo Talib, she and her son were called to the scene by Saran Talib, Aqib’s sister, amid a domestic dispute with Billings.
Police say Aqib Talib arrived first and tried to pistol-whip Billings, dropping the gun in the process. Billings told police he picked it up, but it was jammed and inoperable.
Okolo Talib was next to arrive, and police say she took out a gun, fired at Billings and missed. Police accuse Aqib Talib of taking the gun from his mother and firing at Billings, also missing.
Hearing gunshots, neighbors called 911 and officers reportedly found Billings outside of the house. He was arrested for assault and interference with an emergency phone call in connection with an earlier domestic dispute with Saran Talib.
The 25-year-old, a Texas high school standout, has had several off-the-field incidents since Tampa Bay drafted him in the first round out of Kansas in 2008.
Following the draft, he was involved in a fight at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium, and a year later got into a scuffle with a teammate at Bucs minicamp.
Talib, who started all 11 games that he played last season, was arrested in August 2009 in Florida for assaulting a cab driver. The incident drew a one-game suspension from the NFL, but the charge was dismissed after Talib agreed to perform 15 hours of community service and attend anger management classes.