Talib's mother admits to investigators it 'could've been Aqib who shot,' at his sister's boyfriend
The mother of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib admitted to police in an interview that her son could’ve fired a handgun at his sister’s boyfriend as he chased him during a domestic dispute last March.
That information was part of a three-page arrest affidavit that a Dallas County grand jury used Friday to return an indictment on Talib and his mother for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The second degree felony carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Police say that Talib pointed a 9mm handgun at the head of Shannon Billings, the live-in boyfriend of his sister, Saran Talib. He then attempted to pistol whip Billings before the gun was lost in the struggle, striking a fence and jamming.
That’s when police say Talib’s mother, Okolo, arrived at the scene and fired several shots at Billings with a .380 handgun. At some point, Aqib Talib gained possession of his mother’s gun and fired two shots at Billings, according documents released Friday.
Talib, 25, is a former first round pick from Kansas State and arguably their best defender who led the Bucs with six interceptions last season.
The indictment could jeopardize Talib’s career since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said players are still held to the league’s code of conduct during the ongoing labor dispute.
Aqib Talib, who was suspended one game last season for assaulting a St. Petersburg cab driver in 2009, apparently was aware of his predicament when he yelled, “you’re going to make me throw away my career,’’ as he attempted to pistol whip Billings, according to an arrest affidavit.
Aqib Talib and his mother gave conflicting statements about how as many as five shots were fired during an altercation in a quiet Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas on March 21.
In an interview with detectives four days after the shooting, Okolo Talib may have provided police with the most incriminating evidence against her son.
Okolo Talib said after Aqib took the gun from her, ‘she did hear a shot and eventually admitted it could’ve been Aqib who shot,’ according to the arrest affidavit. She also said after Aqib ‘took the gun from her, he chased after Billings with the gun.’’
Through his attorneys, Aqib Talib has denied charges. In fact, he told police that he had left his 9mm handgun at his sister’s house a month or two earlier. He said he saw Billings with the weapon when he drove up to the brick house in the quiet Dallas suburb.
Billings, who said he obtained the 9mm from Aqib in the struggle , eventually led police to the handgun he had stashed a trashcan behind his house. The .380 handgun used by Okolo also is registered to her son, according to documents released Friday.
Jay K. Reisenger, Talib's Pittsburgh-based attorney who has represented Alex Rodriguez, said he's confident the matter will be resolved in Talib's favor once all the evidence is presented.
"It is important to note that the indictment is merely a formal accusation, and that Mr. Talib has not been convicted of any crime with respect to this matter,'' Reisenger said in the statement. "The grand jury was not privy to a number of important facts. We are very confident that once we have the opportunity to present all of the facts, this matter will be resolved in Mr. Talib's favor. Aqib looks forward to putting this matter behind him and returning to the game of football.’’ Riesinger denied further comment.
However, in interviews with police, Aqib Talib gave several conflicting statements but maintained it was Billings who pointed the gun at him.
Aqib Talib said his mother used another gun to fire several shots at Billings’ feet. When Aqib attempted to take the gun away from her, he said his mother fired ‘two more shots in the air.’’
But investigators recovered at least one shell casing from the .380 in the driveway of a house across the street from Saran Talib, buttressing Billings’ claim that he was chased in a wooded area by Aqib Talib, who fired shots at him.
Dectectives concluded after interviewing witnesses that "Okolo and Aqib Talib fired the .380 handgun,' at Billings and Aqib attempted to 'pistol whip,' Billings with his Springfield 9mm, the affidavit said.