A .380 semi-automatic pistol apparently owned by football star Brian Blades went off early Wednesday morning, killing cousin Charles Alfred Blades and leaving a grieving family and a trail of intrigue.
Charles Blades, 34, was pronounced dead by Broward County Emergency Medical Services just after 12:40 a.m. Wednesday. One bullet went into his skull, killing him instantly.
Brian Blades, a former University of Miami player now with the Seattle Seahawks, told police he was alone in the room with Charles Blades when the gun discharged. Police have ruled out suicide; they want to question Blades about the events leading to the shooting.
“Right now we’re going on the assumption it was an accident,” Plantation police sergeant Mike Price said. “That’s what Brian’s representatives have told us. We do believe the gun belongs to Brian.”
Police spoke with Ellen and Richard Charanian, who live on the first floor of the two-story duplex where the incident occurred. Blades lives above the couple on the second floor.
Ellen Charanian said the couple heard a commotion above them just prior to the shooting.
“Before the shot, my husband said it was like someone was jumping up and down on our ceiling,” she said. “I was half-asleep so I was partly incoherent. But I was saying to myself, ‘I just wish they would stop.’
“My husband said he knew something was wrong right away.”
Blades placed a frantic call to 911 Wednesday morning, saying his cousin had been shot. Although there were two other people in his Chatham Town Complex duplex when the shooting occurred, Blades told Plantation police that he and Charles Blades were alone in the room when the shooting happened.
Police didn’t question Blades on Wednesday morning because he was emotionally distraught. Price said they allowed Blades to skip th afternoon meeting because he is wanted as a witness only, not a suspect.
“He’s not a flight risk and to make an arrest you have to have probable cause anyway,” Price said. “The state attorney will be the one to determine that, but right now they do not feel, nor do we, that we have probable cause.”
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