Report: Pats' Meriweather at shooting
New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather was set to speak to police about a near-fatal shooting of his cousin and another man in February in his home city of Apopka, Fla., the Boston Herald reported Friday.
Meriweather was not being treated as a suspect despite earlier claims from the men's attorney that he fired the gun in the incident.
Confirming that the 27-year-old will cooperate with the Orange County Sheriff's Office's investigation, Meriweather's Orlando-based attorney, Adam Swickle, said, "There's been a lot of (false claims) going around, a lot of different scenarios about how this played out. Obviously, we're confident that everything is going to work out."
Police said that Meriweather's cousin Quentin L. Taylor, 24, was shot through the head, apparently near his mouth, in the Feb. 28 incident, while a bullet grazed the ear of Nico Glendale Stanley, 23.
Orange County Sheriff's Office captain Angelo Nieves earlier confirmed that statements given by the victims -- who reportedly initially refused to cooperate with a police investigation while receiving hospital treatment for their wounds -- identified Meriweather as being present during the shooting. Nieves said investigators were "not prepared at this time to characterize or disclose" the Patriots safety's role in the case.
The Boston Globe reported that the shooting took place close to the home of another of Meriweather's cousins, Cedric Payne, who Taylor and Stanley were seeking after he was allegedly involved in a closing-time physical confrontation with Stanley's sister at the Blue Jeans Lounge in Apopka, around 12 miles northwest of Orlando.
A relative of Meriweather, who claimed to have seen the incident but wished to remain anonymous, told The Boston Globe that the two-time Pro Bowler was attempting to split up a fight between the two cousins, Taylor and Payne, when shots were fired.
The witness said that amid the drama, a friend of Taylor, Anton Massey, drew the gun and -- though aiming for Payne -- mistakenly shot Taylor and Stanley.
After earlier accusing Meriweather of pulling the gun during the fight, the victim's attorney, John Morgan, later clarified his comments on Boston's WEEI radio, saying that he was basing the information on what his clients told him and that he was not certain if Meriweather was actually involved in the alleged incident.
"I have a lot of doubt about that," Morgan said, according to The Boston Globe. "That's what these fellas told me, but I don't assume that to be true at all. I assume nothing to be true until we get an investigation completed."
The Patriots released a statement earlier Thursday, saying, "We are aware of the reported allegation but do not have any additional information.