February 20, 2019
Former NFL player Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham has died after getting shot by his neighbor on Sunday morning over a parking spot dispute in Colorado, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said.
The police further revealed that Cunningham, who played for the Seattle Seahawks in the 90s, was killed near Eaglecrest High School in Aurora after disagreeing over the parking space with the said neighbor, reports TMZ.
Apparently, both men had been quarreling over the spot and set a meeting point near the high school to reach an agreement.
"He was a good family man and had a strong passion for working with young people."
The neighbor, 31-year-old Marcus Johnson lives across the street from Cunningham and came to the meeting with a gun.
The Sheriff’s spokesperson, Deborah Sherman, told NBC News that Johnson called the police to say he had shot his neighbor. Before that, a passerby had called 911 after seeing Cunningham wounded in the street.
“Minutes after the first call, we received a second call from the suspect, ‘I just shot my neighbor. He assaulted me earlier in the day,’ and then he indicated he was going home. So we responded to the scene and to his home and he gave himself up.”
The handgun Johnson allegedly used was in his car, reports CNN.
According to a court document, Johnson claimed Cunningham had a bottle, but Cunningham’s brother, who went with the former athlete to the meeting point, told investigators he was unharmed.
Johnson shot Cunningham three times in the head and chest. The ex-NFL player eventually succumbed to his wounds at Parker Adventist Hospital the next day.
Johnson was taken into custody initially on first-degree attempted murder, but the charges were amended to first-degree murder after Cunningham's death.
A screenshot of Cunningham and his family. | Photo: GoFundMe/TJ Cunningham Memorial Fund
According to The Denver Channel, he made his first court appearance on Tuesday and is being held without bond pending his next hearing on February 22, where he is expected to be formally charged.
Survived by his wife and five kids, Cunningham was 46 at the time of his gruesome death. He was also an assistant principal at Hinkley high school in Colorado.
page has been created to provide assistance for his family.
Aurora Public Schools, in a statement, said they were “deeply saddened” by Cunningham’s demise.
The Colorado Buffaloes also reacted to the tragedy on Twitter, describing Cunningham as a “good family man.”
“T.J. 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.’”
Asides playing for the Seattle Seahawks, Cunningham was also a wide receiver and defensive back at the University of Colorado in the early 90s.
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