*A shooting took place at a 30th birthday party for Michael Vick in Virginia Beach early Friday, leaving one man shot in the leg and NFL officials looking into the matter for possible violations. [Watch news clip below.]
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, his rep and hosts of the party had already left the event at Town Center Guadalajara restaurant before the incident took place.
Shortly after their departure, tempers flared and shots were fired around the corner from the club, leaving a man with at least one gunshot wound to his leg, according to HamptonRoads.com.
While police declined to say who was shot, a witness who attended the party told the Web site that she recognized the victim as Quanis Phillips, a childhood friend of Vick’s who was a co-defendant with the athlete during his dogfighting trial.
“His friends were dragging him around the corner and blood was everywhere,” said 29-year-old Shalamar Davis.
When officers arrived at Guadalajara, the shooting victim was no longer at the scene, police said. He’d been taken in a vehicle, which a Virginia State Police trooper pulled over on Columbus Street near the intersection of Independence Blvd., according to a police news release. An ambulance then took him to Virginia Beach General Hospital.
Phillips was discharged around 3 p.m., said hospital spokesman Dale Gauding. He would not disclose whether Phillips had been shot.
Investigators have made no arrests and say witnesses to the shooting have refused to talk. Vick is not a suspect and “his name has come up nowhere in any of our investigative reports,” said Officer Jimmy Barnes, a police spokesman.
A source close to Vick said Phillips was not invited to the party.
Police have described the shooter only as a black male wearing a white tank top and driving a white Cadillac Escalade.
Vick and Phillips are on state and federal probation from 2007 and 2008 dogfighting convictions. Phillips cooperated with prosecutors in their case against Vick, signing papers saying the quarterback had helped kill eight pit bulls that performed poorly in fights. He was released from federal prison on Feb. 20, 2009, after serving 21 months. Vick was released from prison in May that year.
Under the terms of their probation, both men are prohibited from associating with felons unless granted permission by a probation officer. They’re also required to notify their probation officers within 72 hours of being questioned by law enforcement.
The shooting has shoved Vick into the limelight once again. Both the Eagles and the NFL said Friday they’re looking into the incident.
“We are already looking into it to determine the facts. And that’s really all we can say at this point,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of public relations. “Yes, we’re going through the process.”
Aiello said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was aware of the incident but would have no immediate statement.