NEW YORK - Plaxico Burress spent much of Tuesday at Giants Stadium facing the possibility his career with the Super Bowl champions could be over, while the police were still trying to sort out the events surrounding the Manhattan nightclub shooting.
The star receiver drove up to the stadium tunnel, one day after he was charged with illegal gun possession. Burress was required to be there because he is on the active roster and injured. He left after about six hours.
Burress accidentally shot himself in the right thigh at a club last weekend in a case that could land him in jail and has angered the mayor of New York.
Charles Way, the team’s director of player development, and trainer Ronnie Barnes talked to police on Monday about the shooting, but police said they are still waiting to speak to more informed witnesses. That includes people at the hospital that treated Burress and teammate Antonio Pierce, who was at the club.
Police want to know what the linebacker did moments after the shooting and whether he took part in a cover-up. Police also want to talk to Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who they now believe was at the club as well.
Pierce is planning to meet with members of the district attorney’s office “in the near future,” according to his lawyer, Michael Bachner.
Appearing in his regular Tuesday afternoon spot on Sirius NFL Radio, Pierce declined to answer questions about the shooting.
Bradshaw has been contacted by New York City police and will make himself available for an interview, according to his attorney, Charles A. Stacy, of Bluefield, Va.
“Mr. Bradshaw has been advised he is not suspected of any wrongdoing and is to be interviewed as part of the ongoing investigation of the incident involving Mr. Burress,” Stacy said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.
Burress was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, which could result in a prison sentence of 3½ years to 15 years if convicted.
But it’s possible he could avoid prison entirely if he pleads guilty to a lesser charge, getting probation and community service. Such plea deals and sentences are frequent in New York for first-time offenders.
A few hours after Burress arrived Tuesday, Giants general manager Jerry Reese said outside the stadium there was “nothing to report right now.”
Asked if commissioner Roger Goodell was planning on meeting with Burress or Pierce, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: “This is an active law enforcement investigation and our focus is on cooperating with the NYPD.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke out again Tuesday, saying he talked to Giants owner John Mara and Goodell. He told them then law says “you see something, you got to call the cops. That’s the thing you should do.”
Bloomberg also said the state should consider revoking the liquor license of the nightclub, the Latin Quarter, for allowing Burress to enter with a gun.
“After the events in question, Mr. Pierce did what any other reasonable person would do under the circumstances, he hired counsel,” Pierce’s lawyer said. “After we were hired, I was in immediate and direct contact with the DA’s office.”
Bachner said he hasn’t been notified that Pierce will be charged.
“Mr. Pierce, given the extraordinary circumstances of that evening, acted responsibly in trying to save what could have been the life of a friend,” Bachner said.
The Giants said late Tuesday afternoon that they have been in contact with the police for the past two days and have provided any information they have requested, and will provide more if requested.
Burress was treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The hospital said officials “take this very seriously, and are conducting a thorough investigation into why this gunshot wound was not reported to the police department in a timely fashion.”
Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Robinson said Tuesday an individual has been suspended in connection with the case, but would not say if the person was a doctor or hospital staff member.
A person familiar with the case said a doctor who was not a staff member came to the hospital shortly after Burress arrived there around 2 a.m. and treated him. The doctor’s privileges to work out of the hospital have been suspended, according to the person. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
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