Thursday, July 1, 2010
Updated: July 2, 12:05 PM ET
Cops not closing book on Vick yet
ESPN.com news services
RICHMOND, Va. -- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick says he was not involved with a shooting following his birthday celebration in Virginia Beach last week.
"I want to assure everyone that I had nothing to do with that incident," he said in the statement provided to The Associated Press by his representatives Thursday night. "I left the restaurant prior to it occurring and did not witness what happened."
Vick said he reported the incident to the Eagles and "to representatives of Commissioner Roger Goodell."
The former Atlanta Falcons star also said he has been "completely truthful and fully cooperative" with law enforcement and the NFL, and will continue to cooperate as the investigation continues.
The Eagles and NFL have said they are looking into the matter. Goodell told Vick when reinstating him last season that his margin for error was "extremely limited."
Police said earlier Thursday they have not ruled out Vick as a suspect or person of interest in their investigation. Police spokesman Adam Bernstein said they will not discuss specifics of the investigation and that no one has been named as a suspect or arrested.
Vick met with police on Monday, accompanied by Woodward.
Bernstein declined to characterize Vick's status in the investigation.
"I don't want to say either way as to what his involvement is," Bernstein told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "Everyone wants me to give him a label because of who he is."
Police have not identified the shooting victim, but Vick's attorney, Larry Woodward, said it was Quanis Phillips.
In his statement, Vick did not name Phillips, a co-defendant in the dogfighting case that landed Vick in federal prison.
Vick, who filed for bankruptcy in 2008, is entering his second season with the Eagles and due to earn $5.2 million.
The NFL star's statement comes almost a week after the shooting early last Friday.
Woodward told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Vick left the establishment at least 10 minutes, and perhaps as many as 20 minutes, before the shooting took place.
But Allen Fabijan, spokesman for Guadalajara Mexican restaurant and nightclub, said Wednesday that he had video that contradicted Woodward's timeline.
The time-stamped footage from a surveillance camera outside the entrance of the club shows a car with Vick inside leaving at 2:07 a.m. -- about 4 minutes before the shooting a block away.
The waiting car with Vick inside pulled away at about 2:07 a.m. heading in the direction of the eventual shooting. Numerous people were visible lingering in front of the club for several minutes until, at 2:10:55, they appear to be startled, with some ducking for cover.
Bernstein, who said authorities have a copy of the video, said the first 911 call about the shooting was received at 2:11.
Fabijan said police have asked him not to release the video, but he allowed the AP to view the grainy footage.
Vick's face is not discernible; a man wearing white that Fabijan said is Vick appears moving toward a parked car at 2:04 a.m. A crowd quickly gathered, and Fabijan said Vick accommodated fans trying to get an autograph, to pose for a photo or to shake hands -- so much so that a club security guard eventually moved in in an effort to disperse the crowd.