Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham, a former Seattle Seahawks player and assistant principal at a Colorado high school, has died after police say his neighbor shot him. The NFL safety during the 1996 season, was shot by a neighbor early Sunday and taken to a hospital, where he died Monday, the sheriff’s office said via Twitter.
Cunningham was reportedly shot during a parking dispute, however no additional details on the argument have been made available. The shooting took place near Eaglecrest High School and Thunder Ridge Middle School in Aurora. A 911 call was made by a passerby.
“And then a few minutes later we got another call from the suspect. He said that he had shot his neighbor and had claimed that earlier he had been attacked by his neighbor,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Deborah Sherman said on Sunday.
The neighbor, Marcus Johnson was originally held on attempted murder charges, however following Cunningham’s death, the charges were amended to first-degree murder. He has a criminal history that includes assault and a weapons possession charge.
The Colorado Buffaloes said on Twitter that Cunningham was “a tremendous part of the CU community and touched countless others beyond Boulder.
“We were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the death of T.J. Cunningham. He was a good family man and had a strong passion for working with young people.”
Cunningham played wide receiver and defensive back at CU from 1992 to 1995. He was a member of four Buffs bowl teams and recorded 21 career receptions for 239 yards during his three years as a receiver. In 1996, he was a sixth-round draft pick for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.
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