Police Seek Interview With Meriweather Over Florida Shooting

BOSTON (CBS) – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Patriots All-Pro safety Brandon Meriweather was present during the shooting of two men in Florida.

The two men claim Meriweather shot them in Florida last month. However, Meriweather has not been charged or even accused by police. The attorney representing the men said he has “doubts.”

See: Orange County Police Report (.pdf)

Thursday afternoon officials released the police report and issued a statement on Meriweather.  “We are not prepared at this time to characterize or disclose Mr. Meriweather’s status in this case, though we do seek to interview him,” said officials.

Florida attorney John Morgan represents the men.  He told WBZ-TV’s David Robichaud Thursday morning that his clients claim that Meriweather fired a gun at a house party in Apokpa, Florida February 27 and wounded them.

Morgan talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Deb Lawler

One man was grazed in the head, the other was shot through the cheek, according to Morgan, who claimed the shooting stemmed from a fight between Meriweather’s friend, and another man.

Morgan said his clients attended Apopka High School with Meriweather in the Orlando suburb.

The men were treated at a hospital and released.  But the man who was shot through the cheek is still in “severe, severe pain,” according to Morgan.

“The bullet went through his cheek and into his head and he is miraculously alive,” Morgan told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Morgan said his clients were interviewed by police after the shooting and told investigators that Meriweather shot them.  Morgan’s clients also claim Meriweather left Florida after the shooting.

There has been no comment from Meriweather, but the Patriots issued the following statement just after 10 a.m.:

“We are aware of the reported allegation, but do not have any additional information.”

The Orange County Sherriff’s Department told WBZNewsRadio 1030 there was an incident Feb. 27, but that the allegations concerning Meriweather have not been confirmed and no charges have been filed.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Orange County Sheriff’s Office records list 23-year-old Nico Stanley and 24-year-old Quentin Taylor as victims in the shooting.

The paper also said Meriweather’s “agent and lawyer declined comment on any potential criminal matters. Both said they were aware of the situation.”

Boston Herald Patriots beat reporter Ian Rapoport spoke to Meriweather’s legal guardian Tim Bridges Thursday.

“He told me in no uncertain terms that the allegations are not true,” Rapoport told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zo.

“He was pretty fired up about it, obviously upset. He’s down in Florida right now, he’s been hearing the rumors, it was all kind of abuzz on Miami talk radio yesterday. He was pretty clear that it’s not true. He did not dispute Brandon was in Apopka that night, he didn’t know that he was at that party, but he says he was not the shooter in any incident.”

In the interview with WBZ NewsRadio 1030, Morgan was careful not to accuse Meriweather directly.

“Everything that I am reporting is what has been alleged,” Morgan said.  “It was according to our clients.”

In an interview later with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Rich Shertenlieb and Dan Roche, Morgan expressed doubt that Meriweather was even involved in the shooting.

“I have a lot of doubt,” Morgan said.

“Look, it’s a shooting. I haven’t heard anything from him yet. I haven’t heard anything from his representatives. As I’ve said before, it may be as simple as this, Brandon Meriweather says ‘How could it be me, I wasn’t even in that town.’ This is a young person’s life. I’m never going to rush out and say, ‘My clients told me, so this happened.'”

“What we’ve been told is what we’ve been told by two clients we’ve never met before in our lives. Everything we’re told is an allegation. The only thing that I know for certain is there are serious injuries to both of these people. I think that, the first thing that I would do if I was, and everything is allegedly happened here, the first thing that I think has to happen, if Brandon Meriweather didn’t have anything to do with it, he comes forward this morning and says ‘What are you talking about?'”

In 2006, while he was a student at the University of Miami, Meriweather fired a gun three times at a man who shot his friend.  The man was not hit and Meriweather was not charged because the gun was legally registered to him.

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