Garland Police: Aqib Talib Decision Coming This Week

In the wake of yesterday's news that former Richardson Berkner star and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers' stud cornerback Aqib Talib is a "person of interest" in a shooting in Garland last week, a couple of things have been cleared up but many more questions remain.

Questions, say the Garland Police Department, that will be answered one way or the other this week.

"When, if anything, happens in this case we'll make an announcement," GPD public information officer Joe Harn said this morning. "It may be presenting a case to a grand jury or issuing warrants. Whatever it is, it'll likely it will happen this week."

The case presented to a Dallas County grand jury would be founded upon forensic evidence, victim testimony and eyewitness accounts that point to Talib and his mother, Okolo, firing multiple, errant gun shots at Shannon Billings during a domestic dispute on March 21. According to a source with detailed knowledge of the case, both the player and his mother have hired lawyers and have so far been uncooperative with GPD investigators. If GPD determines it has probable cause to directly interview Talib or his mother -- both persons of interest -- warrants would be issued for questioning.

While some questions remain unanswered and the investigation to the Cops-styled episode evolves, other details are beginning to take shape.

What we know:

Billings, the boyfriend of Talib's sister Saran, was not only the target of the shots fired but also a guy with his own checkered past. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Billings, 40, is a registered sex offender with the Texas Department of Public Safety who in '98 was convicted of sexual assault on a 14-year old girl. Billings, who was 27 at the time, served 10 years' probation for the assault. According to Dallas County jail records he was arrested last week on charges of assault with bodily injury and interfering with an emergency call during a previous, separate altercation with Saran. As of this morning his bond was set at $2,500 and he remained in jail. As recently as December he worked as a waiter at Addison's Genghis Grill.

What we don't know:

  • Did Talib flee the scene before police arrived, thereby avoiding questioning and possible testing for gun-shot residue that would implicate him in shooting a gun? An incident report obtained by the Observer refers only to Billings, Saran and Okolo being tested.
  • Is the eyewitness testimony from neighbors clear and certain enough to determine if Aqib fired multiple shots not just in the air, but directly at Billings in an attempt to injure him?
  • Being that we're in the middle of a lockout, is the players' conduct policy technically in effect? "The personal conduct policy continues," Goodell said at last week's owners meetings in New Orleans. "It applies to everybody in the league. I don't know how it would apply to the players under this circumstance [the lockout], but it's something that I feel strongly about, that we owe to our fans."

Sounds to me like if Talib isn't arrested and charged by Garland, he'll at least have to face the wrath of Goodell.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt