Since the Philadelphia Eagles brought convicted dogfighter Michael Vick to town, more people are aware that the illegal sport is also a crime.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Michael Vick's lawyer says he was not involved or present when a shooting took place outside a nightclub where he had celebrated his 30th birthday.
Larry Woodward, one of the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback's attorneys in his federal dogfighting case, said Vick wasn't at the club when the shooting took place just after 2 a.m. Friday outside the club Guadalajara at Town Center shopping center.
The victim was taken to a hospital, but his injuries were not life-threatening, Virginia Beach Police spokesman Adam Bernstein said. However, several news outlets identified him as Quanis Phillips, one of the co-defendants in the federal dogfighting case that landed Vick an 18-month federal prison sentence.
Phillips, who was sentenced to 21 months in prison for his role in the dogfighting operation, was admitted to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital overnight, health system spokesman Dale Gauding said. He was discharged early Friday afternoon. Gauding said he was not able to discuss the nature of Phillips' injuries because of privacy laws.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is looking into the shooting.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Vick after being suspended for two years last July, and said at the time that Vick's margin for error would be "extremely limited."
A statement from the Eagles said the team was still gathering facts about the incident and would not comment further.
Vick played sparingly last season, but is expected to take on a larger role this year after the team traded starter Donovan McNabb in the offseason. The team picked up an option and is to pay Vick $5.2 million this year.
Vick also is still on three years' probation in the federal case and on a three-year suspended sentence for a state dogfighting conviction. He is not allowed to associate with anyone convicted of a felony unless granted permission to do so by his probation officer.
Police are still investigating, and Bernstein said the shooting victim and witnesses were being uncooperative. They did, however, describe the shooter as a black man in a white tank top driving a white Cadillac Escalade.