Former Florida Gator star and NFL player Donald “Reche” Caldwell was shot and killed in a robbery attempt in Tampa yesterday.
According to TMZ, Caldwell was “ambushed” by a “couple of people” who jumped out of bushes trying to rob him. He was shot in the leg and chest, dying in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
“Upon arrival, officers located an adult male victim of a gunshot wound in the front yard of a residence. Officers immediately began providing life-saving measures,” police stated.
“Tampa Fire Rescue arrived and transported the victim to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.”
“This does not appear to be a random act. However, it is very early in the investigation and detectives are working to develop leads in the case. Updates will be provided as they become available.”
“He was a good person who smiled all of the time,” Reche’s mother Deborah Caldwell told TMZ.
“He tried to help everyone he could. He was the type of guy who would take his shirt off his back and give it to you.”
Caldwell finished his Gator career as only the ninth receiver in Gators history to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in a single season. He was a 2nd round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, playing for the Chargers, Redskins and Patriots.
Investigators are gathering information and asking the public for help — saying anyone with info should contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.