St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey is in critical condition after being shot while sitting in a car in the Miami area, police said.
Bailey, 25, was in the car with four others — two of them minors — near a Miami Gardens residence “when another vehicle arrived and opened fire” around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, police in that South Florida community said. Bailey and his car’s driver, Antwan Reeves, were both shot.
“The victims drove themselves to an area hospital for evaluation and treatment,” police said.
A report on NFL.com, citing “a source informed of the incident,” said that Bailey was struck twice in the head. The story indicated he had non-life-threatening injuries.
The Rams issued a statement that did not detail what happened to the receiver, but did say someone with the team has spoken to him. The team added that Bailey is in critical but stable condition.
“#Pray4Stedman,” the Rams later tweeted.
The Miami Gardens police gave the same condition for Bailey, adding that “Reeves was taken into surgery shortly upon arriving at the hospital.”
As of midday Wednesday, police hadn’t talked to either man, Miami Gardens spokeswoman Petula Burks said.
Nor have authorities said who they think shot them. But Miami Gardens police did say they are looking for a light-colored, four-door sedan that may be a Buick Regal.
A third-round draft pick for the Rams in 2013, Bailey left West Virginia University with the school’s second-highest number of receptions: 210.
He racked up 17 receptions while playing in all of his team’s games during his rookie campaign, then had another 30 receptions (one for a touchdown) last year. Bailey had 12 catches — including a 68-yarder for a touchdown — in the first half of this season before the NFL suspended him for four games for violating its substance abuse policy.
The receiver is eligible to return to the Rams’ active roster on December 7, one day after the team plays the Arizona Cardinals. But getting back on the field on that date isn’t certain now.
Football players across the country offered support and prayers for Bailey’s recovery.
“Just woke up to the awful news,” James Laurinaitis, a Rams linebacker, tweeted. “Everyone please pray for his family and loved ones and for a full recovery!”
That sentiment was echoed by San Diego Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett, who wrote, “Prayers out to my dawg Stedman Bailey man.”