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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 12:45 GMT
NFL star dies from bullet wound
Sean Taylor
Sean Taylor was said to be one of the hardest hitters in the league
A star player from the National Football League in the US has died, a day after being shot in his home during an apparent burglary.

Sean Taylor, a defensive player for the Washington Redskins, was shot by an intruder at his home near Miami.

Mr Taylor, 24, died after heavy blood loss, caused by the severing of his femoral artery.

A family friend told AP news agency the NFL star had not regained consciousness after being taken to hospital.

Police said they were investigating the circumstances behind the shooting.

"It's a tremendously sad and unnecessary event. He was a wonderful, humble, talented young man, and had a huge life in front of him," said Richard Sharpstein, the player's former lawyer.

Mr Sharpstein said Mr Taylor's girlfriend had told him that at least one person had burst into the player's home and fired two shots, one hitting a wall and the other striking him in the leg.

Mr Taylor's girlfriend and his 18-month-old daughter Jackie were in the house at the time of the shooting but were not injured.

Eight days earlier, an intruder had been reported at Mr Taylor's home.

"They're really sifting through that incident and today's incident, to see if there's any correlation," Miami-Dade Police Detective Mario Rachid said.

Hard hitter

Washington Redskins fans take part in a candlelight vigil for Sean Taylor outside Redskins Park, 26/11
Redskins fans held a vigil for Sean Taylor on Monday night

Mr Taylor, a college star with the University of Miami, was the fifth pick of the 2004 NFL Draft and was enjoying a successful season until a knee injury sidelined him for the past two games.

"For all of us here, we're obviously in shock," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said on Monday. "I know I can't put it in words."

Mr Taylor, who played as a safety for Washington, had a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in the league.

"I just take this job very seriously," he said in an interview during training camp.

"It's almost like, you play a kid's game for a king's ransom. And if you don't take it serious enough, eventually one day you're going to say, 'Oh, I could have done this, I could have done that'."

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