Former Charges and Patriots wide receiver, Reche Caldwell, 41, is shot and killed in a ‘targeted’ robbery at his Florida home
The former NFL player’s mother, Reche Caldwell, confirmed he was killed in Tampa on Saturday night
A group of assailants ‘ambushed’ him outside his home just before 11pm
Police believe the attack was targeted and are investigating a possible motive
Caldwell who retired in 2008 after six year in the NFL spent four seasons with the Chargers and one each with the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins
Victim: A group of assailants ‘ambushed’ former NFL player Reche Caldwell [photo] outside his home in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday night
Former NFL wide receiver Reche Caldwell was shot and killed during a ‘targeted’ attack in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday night.
The 41-year-old’s mother, Deborah Caldwell, confirmed his death to TMZ on Sunday.
The outlet reported Caldwell – a star football player at the University of Florida who went on to play for three NFL teams – was leaving for a date with his girlfriend when he went back into his home to grab a jacket.
The girlfriend said Caldwell was ‘ambushed’ by a ‘couple of people’ who jumped out of the bushes in an attempted robbery.
Caldwell was struck in the leg and chest and died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Reche Caldwell [No 17], a standout at Univ. of Florida celebrates a touchdown against Vanderbilt in 2001
Tampa police are still investigating the incident. They confirmed that a man in his 40s was found with a gunshot wound just before 11pm Saturday outside a home on East Hanna Avenue.
Authorities have not said how many suspects were involved or whether anyone has been arrested, but the attack appeared to have been targeted rather than a random act, they said.
The victim’s mother Deborah Caldwell described her son as a ‘good person who smiled all the time’.
‘He tried to help everyone he could. He was the type of guy who would take his shirt off his back and give it to you,’ she told TMZ.
Caldwell played college football at the University of Florida from 1998-2001 and posted 141 career receptions for 2,088 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Reche Caldwell who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2002 and played four seasons there before spending a season each with the New England Patriots [left] and Washington Redskins [right] was assassinated outside his Tampa home on Saturday
The San Diego Chargers selected him in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he played 47 games in four seasons there, followed by a season each with the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins.
In his 72 games as a pro had 152 career receptions for 1,851 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, after retirement in 2008, he his life has been blighted by Legal woes.
He was arrested and charged with operating an illegal gambling operation in Tampa in January 2014.
Four months later, he was charged with drug possession and intent to distribute in Tampa. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison and three years’ probation.
Last December, Caldwell faced federal charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He pled guilty in January to making false claims to the NFL’s health reimbursement account plan and was scheduled to be sentenced in August.
Tributes have poured in from former teammates, including this one from Wes Welker, who played with Caldwell on the Chargers and the Patriots
Caldwell’s high school alma mater also paid tribute to him on Twitter
Several former teammates paid tribute to Caldwell following the news of his death.
Wes Welker, who met Caldwell in 2004 and played with him on the Chargers and the Patriots, tweeted: ‘Reche’s smile and attitude were contagious! My thoughts and prayers go out to Bubba Caldwell and his family!’
Former Patriots teammate Benjamin Watson tweeted: ‘Always kept us laughing and light hearted. Always had the biggest smile. Always had the greatest stories. Sad to hear about the passing of my teammate Reche Caldwell. May the Lord comfort his family during this time.’
Tampa police urged anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).