A police investigation of Plaxico Burress" id="PESPT001010">Plaxico Burress' self-inflicted gunshot wound has widened to include the conduct of his New York Giants" id="ORSPT000197">New York Giants teammate, Antonio Pierce" id="PESPT005834">Antonio Pierce, who may have helped Burress cover up the incident, police said Monday.
And the investigation also has turned to officials at the hospital that treated the bullet wound, New York City Police Department" id="ORGOV0000107">NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. The hospital is required by law to report such injuries to the police.
Burress was walking toward the VIP room of a Manhattan night club just
before 12:10 a.m., drink in one hand, when his .40-caliber Glock
started to slip from his waistband, Browne said. Burress grabbed the
gun, which fired, shooting him in the thigh, police said.
The Glock wound up in the glove compartment of Pierce's Cadillac
Escalade, a police source said, and by 12:20 a.m. Burress and Pierce,
among others, drove off in the Escalade. About two hours later, police
said, Burress wound up in the hospital.
When police later pressed for details from the New York-Presbyterian
Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center where Burress was treated,
officials there cited federal privacy laws and refused to say anything,
the police source said.
Employees of the nightclub, the Latin Quarter, are cooperating, but
that night the club let Burress in even though at least one security
worker knew he had a gun on him, police said.
As Burress surrendered early Monday and emerged from the 17th Precinct in handcuffs, Michael Bloomberg" id="PEPLT007462">Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on the case.
"If we don't prosecute [him]to the fullest extent of the law, I don't
know who on Earth we would," Bloomberg said. "It makes a sham, a
mockery of the law. And it's pretty hard to argue the guy didn't have a
gun and it wasn't loaded."
Earlier Monday, with hands cuffed behind his back, Burress was led from
a police station shortly after 1 p.m., then was taken to a holding cell
to await a court appearance on a charge of criminal possession of a
Burress was awaiting the end of lunch recess at New York Criminal Court
at 100 Centre St., where, his lawyer says, he will plead not guilty.
It took police two sets of handcuffs to secure the hands of the 6 foot
5 inch Giants wide receiver before detectives walked him from the 17th
Precinct station house to an unmarked car.
Walking without the aid of crutches and without limping, Burress had surrendered shortly after 8 a.m. Monday.
"He is standing tall. He is a mature adult, handling this very well I
think under the circumstances," his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said
after the surrender, speaking to reporters outside the 17th Precinct.
"He's asked me to tell all the fans who've written and called, and his
teammates, that he very much appreciates their expressions of concern."
Burress is ready and willing to return to the field despite a previous
hamstring problem as well as the bullet wound to his right leg, the
"If they let him play he will be available to play," Brafman said. "It
would be a terrible sadness if an isolated incident could ruin a life."
Speaking of the severity of the gunshot wound, Brafman said, "He is
OK," then he added, regarding the hamstring, "The other injury's minor."
Criminal possession of a weapon in New York City is punishable by 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison.
The Super Bowl" id="EVSPR000004">Super Bowl
star accidentally shot himself at the LQ nightclub on Lexington Avenue.
Burress had been holed up in his house in New Jersey since being
released from a Manhattan hospital Saturday afternoon.