Former New Jersey Net Jayson Williams was sentenced today for the 2002 shooting death of his limousine driver. Williams was sentenced to five years in prison.
Williams admitted that on Feb. 14, 2002 he took a shotgun from his gun collection, failed to check to see if the safety was on or if the gun was loaded and wasn't paying attention to where the gun was aimed. When he snapped the gun shot it discharged, hitting his driver in the chest.
Unintentional shootings by other professional athletes have also made the news lately.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla recounted how he was shot in the leg by his bodyguard during the offseason. "I was shooting [at a target range near his home in Nicaragua], then my gun just stopped," said Padilla. "It jammed. I looked for the bullet, and I couldn't find it. I gave it to one of my guys, and he couldn't find it, either. Then it went off and hit me in the leg."
"The doctor told me I was very lucky," Padilla continued. "If it would have hit me one inch on either side I would have been in serious trouble."
This week, Florida Marlins pitcher Jose Ceda revealed his secret to his team - two years ago he shot his best friend. While the details remain unclear, Ceda unintentionally shot his friend in the stomach. The bullet penetrated the spine. Ceda was under house arrest in his home in the Dominican Republic while authorities investigated the incident.
Last September, Super Bowl hero and former New York Giant Plaxico Burress was sentenced to two years in prison for violating New York gun laws. Burress was in a nightclub in Manhattan when he said he stumbled while going up the stairs. His gun slipped down in his jeans and as he reached to stop it from hitting the ground he hit the trigger and the gun fired a bullet into his leg.
This year Major League Baseball clubhouses will display new signs warning players that "individuals are prohibited from possessing deadly weapons while performing any services for MLB." The rules were adopted after the Burress incident but the signs have not been in place until this season.