NFL star Darrent Williams died in a drive-by shooting in Denver in the early hours of New Year's Day.
Williams died hours after playing in Denver's final game of the season
The Denver Broncos cornerback, 24, was one of three people shot in the incident, according to local police.
Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano said: "We're speechless. It takes words away - it's a terrible tragedy."
Williams - in his second NFL season - had earlier played in Denver's 26-23 loss to San Francisco. The result meant his team failed to make the play-offs.
A Denver police spokesman said the white Hummer limousine that Williams and two others were travelling in was sprayed with bullets from a vehicle that drew up alongside.
All three people inside suffered bullet wounds. They were taken to a city hospital, where Williams was pronounced dead.
The other victims, a male and a female, have yet to be identified.
Williams, a second-round pick in the 2005 draft out of Oklahoma State, started nine games in his first season due to injuries.
This season, he took over as a starter from Lenny Walls and was second on the team with four interceptions and tied for third with 86 tackles.
On Sunday against the 49ers, he had three tackles and returned two punts for 50 yards before leaving the game with a shoulder injury late in the second half.