Sheriff: Sweaty, Shirtless Man With Gun Stopped Near Scene Of Alleged Meriweather Shooting

The Orange County Sheriff's Office just dropped an info packet on our inbox. Some interesting tidbits in here. For one: Apopka police stopped a Dodge Stratus with four people inside a few blocks away from the shooting. In the car, the cops found a loaded Smith & Wesson hand gun "wrapped in a sweaty black T shirt inside a black nylon back pack." The suspected owner of the gun was shirtless and "sweaty," according to the incident report provided by the sheriff's office.

Shirtless, sweaty, and armed before dawn? I believe that's known as "Monday" in certain parts of Florida.

The report continued:

No one in the car claimed the black nylon bag and no one had knowledge of a gun in the bag. All four subjects in the car admitted to being present at "Blue Jeans" when a fight broke out inside the club and outside in the parking lot.

Three of the car's passengers are thought to be related to at least one of the shooting victims. But the report does not identify a suspect. When a police officer went to Florida Hospital Apopka to question Quentin Taylor, the victim who'd been shot in the head, Taylor took a turn for the worse, according to the officer:

I asked this subject his name, and who was responsible for the injuries he had received. Taylor either could not, or would not answer any questions that I asked. I was later able to obtain his name from the hospital staff. While I was attempting to question Taylor, he appeared to have a seizure. Medical personal stepped in to treat the victim, and at the time of this report the victim remained unconscious.

[UPDATE: WEEI has posted the incident report.]

Another curious bit of information can be found in a background statement from the sheriff's office, wherein we learn that a lawyer for Meriweather contacted the sheriff's office on Wednesday, when news of the shooting was little more than a handful of tweets by sports radio talk show host Dan Sileo. The lawyer said he wanted to set up an interview between the authorities and Meriweather. But that interview has yet to happen. Relevant text from the background statement:

The Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating the circumstances of a reported shooting which occurred during the early morning hours on February 28th, 2011, resulting in serious facial/head injuries to Quentin Taylor (24yoa), when he suffered a gunshot to the face and Nico Stanley (23yoa), who was grazed by a fired round.

The Sheriff's Office responded to the reported scene, but no activity, suspects or scene could be established or located with any certainty at the time of the calls. Shortly thereafter, the Apopka Police Department was advised and responded to a call of two shooting victims at Florida Hospital Apopka, launching our criminal investigation.

While I cannot divulge all of the investigative details, I can advise that the OCSO detectives responded to the hospital and were unable to obtain any identifying information from the victims; one of which was heavily sedated, due to his injuries.

Investigators have been following up on the limited information that has been received since the date of the shooting and were only able to obtain both victims statements, one on Monday and the other yesterday, Wednesday, March 9, 2011 as to the circumstances that led to the shooting and who was present.

Based on this information and investigative follow-up obtained yesterday we can state, based on the confidence of those victim statements, that William Brandon Meriweather, among others, has been identified as being present during the shooting, which resulted in injuries to the two victims and occurred in the area of 17th St. and Marvin C. Sanders, during the early morning hours of February 28th, 2011.

We are not prepared at this time to characterize or disclose Mr. Meriweather's status in this case, though we do seek to interview him. This past Wednesday investigators received a call from an attorney identifying himself as representing Mr. Meriweather, who stated he was looking to facilitate an interview with his client. We are receptive to this overture (opportunity) and detectives are seeking to further this interview if it can be arranged.

We do want to reach out to anyone who may have witness information in this case to contact our office and offer a statement. I would also caution that investigators are following up on any reports of anyone assisting the shooter in this case or is aware of the location of any evidence or firearm.

Meanwhile, The Boston Globe interviewed one of his relatives who claims to have been at the party and who also claims that another man fired the gun, someone named Anton Massey.

Relative says Brandon Meriweather was trying to break up fight [The Boston Globe]

EARLIER:
Patriots Safety Brandon Meriweather Accused Of Shooting Two Men During Brawl
More Details About The Alleged Meriweather Shooting From The Victims' Attorney: "If It's A Scam, It's Elaborate As Hell"