Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) runs the ball against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedEX Field. Photo Courtesy: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
By Jim Corbett, USA TODAY Sports
LANDOVER, MD (USA Today) -- Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller played in Saturday's preseason loss to the Washington Redskins, despite a devastating family tragedy in Lake Butler, Fla.
Spiller's step-grandfather Hubert Allen Jr. killed two people and then took his own life Saturday morning in a shooting spree that also left two injured, police said.
Union County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Lt. Lyn Williams e-mailed USA TODAY Sports that Allen, 72, committed suicide at his residence after killing two men, including Marvin Pritchett, 80, owner of the Pritchett Trucking Company where Allen had been a long-time employee.
Spiller, who scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run, was aware of the grim news, Bills director of media relations Chris Jenkins said, adding inside the locker room that Spiller would not discuss questions about the incident with the media.
"As far as I know, he knew something was happening personally, but we didn't have any information prior to the game,'' Marrone said. "No one knows all of the facts. So we are not going to comment at this time.''
Police said Allen shot the men at several locations around Union County, including the headquarters for Pritchett Trucking Inc., according to a Union County Sheriff's Office news release.
Authorities said Allen shot and killed former co-worker Rolando Gonzalez-Delgado, 28, around 9 a.m. then went a short distance and fatally shot his former employer, 80-year-old Marvin Pritchett.
A few minutes later, he pulled over where another former co-worker was driving a farm tractor, exchanged words with him and then fired one shot from a shotgun, authorities said. That victim, 66-year-old Lewis Mabrey Jr., was in good condition and receiving surgery for a broken arm and other injuries.
Not long after that, Allen went to the company's headquarters in Lake Butler and shot 44-year-old David Griffis in the stomach, the release said. Griffis was in critical condition.
Authorities say Allen then returned to his home nearby and killed himself. Authorities said he was a longtime employee of the company.
With a population of about 2,000, Lake Butler is located about an hour's drive southwest of Jacksonville.
Investigators were working at the five shooting scenes late Saturday and interviewing witnesses and company employees. The news release said they were working to determine a motive.
Messages seeking further comment from the sheriff's office weren't immediately returned.
The trucking company's website says it employs 400 people and owns hundreds of vehicles that operate around the country. It said Pritchett started the trucking company in 1980, ten years after purchasing a Florida timber business.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of their families, and at this time our sole focus is on those impacted by today's events. Words cannot express the pain and sorrow felt by so many yet we are comforted by the memories of those lost," the company said in a statement.
The company's chief financial officer, Steve Perez, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking further comment.