A man was shot outside of a Virginia Beach establishment that was hosting a birthday party for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. The party was late Thursday evening at Guadalajara, and the shooting occurred around 2am on Friday. Vick’s lawyer maintains that Vick was not in attendance at the time of the shooting. According to the AP:
An attorney for Michael Vick says the quarterback was not present when a shooting took place outside a nightclub where Vick had celebrated his birthday.
Larry Woodward says the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was neither involved nor present when the shooting occurred early Friday.
Virginia Beach Police spokesman Adam Bernstein said a man sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting at around 2 a.m. outside the club Guadalajara. Vick’s party had started there late Thursday.
Bernstein said he knew nothing about any connection to Vick’s party.
Bernstein said the victim was taken to the hospital. He says the victim and witnesses were uncooperative other than describing the shooter as a black man in a white Cadillac Escalade.
Fairly straightforward, but what complicates matters is the potential identity of the victim. The Daily Press is reporting that the victim may in fact be connected to Vick:
Police have not identified the shooting victim, but a spokesman for Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital confirmed that Quanis Phillips – one of the co-defendants in Vick’s 2007 federal dogfighting trial – was admitted early this morning and was listed in good condition. The spokesman would not discuss the nature of Phillips’ injuries, and he said Phillips has declined to speak with media.
At this point, the facts are that there was a scuffle around 2am when the club was closing, and that one man was shot. The party at Guadalajara was apparently only one of many celebrations that Vick attended, but the events here far overshadow what should have been a good time for the former Falcons QB. While no one is saying that Vick was present during the shooting (Bernstein refused comment; his lawyer insists quite the opposite), if it turns out that Phillips was indeed the victim, it would only serve to cast a bit of doubt as to what Vick himself has been up to since his return to society. While it may not be the most “fair” move, it certainly is a logical one. Look, I understand your boys are your boys, but at some point your boys can’t be seen in public with you. If Phillips was at Guadalajara for Vick’s party, it’s a fair assumption that they MAY maintain contact, which is the last thing that Vick needs. This is a cat who was instrumental in the very thing that earned you a prison stint, and completely changed the way the public perceives you. If you want to continue winning fans back, it’s not likely that you would continue to associate with anyone remotely connected to the dogfighting fiasco. Mind you, there’s no way of knowing whether Phillips was at the party at Vick’s request or whether he came out on his own, but strictly from an appearance standpoint, it looks bad and opens Vick up to unneeded/unwanted scrutiny.
While the facts are still a bit cloudy at this point, and there’s been a lack of cooperation with the police thus far, when more facts emerge we will have the updates here. Hopefully as the dominos continue to fall, Vick will be absolved of any perceived blame in this situation, as well as any underlying suspicions of continued wrongdoing. He’s worked hard to get back to where he is, and while there’s still a way to go to regain his previous stature, this could potentially be a major setback.
The Daily News is now reporting that the confrontation at Guadalajara was between Vick and Phillips:
So guess who shows up at some point during the party, several sources tell me — Quanis Phillips, a Vick co-defendant in the 2007 dog-fighting case.
Now, Vick is not supposed to be associating with any of the co-defendants in the case — and I know buddy-turned-informant Tony Taylor did NOT get an invite. Nor did I.
Anyway, from here, things get vague, because some folks who were at the party don’t want it published that they were there. Some folks who might have been witnesses to some of the incident don’t want it to be known if they were witnesses. But the story goes that Quanis threatened to smash birthday cake in Vick’s face, or that he actually smashed the cake in Vick’s face. Another version is that someone smashed cake in Quanis’ face — or threatened to smash it in his face. Anyway, the confrontation moved outside — where I’m told there were several still cameras and video cameras. Cooler heads did NOT prevail, and ‘Q’ was shot in the shopping center parking lot. It is unclear whether Vick was still around at the time of the shooting, but he was definitely not there when police arrived.
These are preliminary reports, but they do not look good for Vick.