Yaqub Talib, brother of former NFL star, slain youth coach, police say

A brother of former NFL cornerback Aqib Talib is facing a murder charge after he fatally shot a youth football coach during an argument at a game in Lancaster, Texas last weekend, authorities said.

Mr. Talib’s brother Yaqub S. Talib, 39, turned himself in at the Dallas County Jail Monday after a warrant for his murder was issued, according to a Lancaster Police Department statement.

Police said officers responded to a shooting at a community park in Lancaster, less than 20 miles south of downtown Dallas, at 8:50 p.m. Saturday. There they found Michael Hickmon of Lancaster, the Dragons Elite Academy coach, who had been shot in the chest, back and forearm, they said.

Mr Hickmon, 43, was taken to Methodist Central Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

It’s unclear what exactly led to the shooting, but police say multiple witnesses said there was a disagreement between opposing Dragons Elite Academy coaching staff and the team they played against, the North Dallas United Bobcats, “over calls of the acting crew.”

According to police, witnesses said the disagreement turned into a fight and Mr Talib pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol and shot Mr Hickmon “multiple times”. Mr Talib then got into an unidentified vehicle and fled, police said.

Recognition…Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, via Associated Press

No other injuries have been reported, they said, adding that the circumstances leading up to the shooting are still being investigated. Police declined further comment.

On the day of the shooting, Mr. Hickmon had been coaching a team of 9-year-olds, said Michael Freeman, the Dragons team’s 9U division president. Mr Freeman said the game was abandoned after a disagreement between the Bobcats and the umpires.

Mr Hickmon had crossed the field to retrieve the football that someone had kicked, which Mr Freeman said led to a “scuffle”. “That’s when the young man drew his gun,” he said, adding that he thinks he heard five shots.

“I was beyond shocked; It just didn’t make sense to me why or how it would escalate so quickly,” Mr. Freeman said.

He said many of the children who witnessed the shooting are now being counseled. “Everyone’s trying to stick together and help each other.”

Mr. Freeman said Aqib Talib, the retired NFL player, is also the coach of the Bobcats and was present at Saturday’s game. The 36-year-old retired cornerback is a five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos, who retired in 2020 after 12 seasons. He recently joined Amazon TV’s Thursday Night Football as an analyst.

On Thursday, Yaqub Talib’s attorney, Clark Birdsall, said his client remained in jail awaiting a bail hearing. He said he interviewed more than 10 witnesses and believes the dispute was started by Mr. Hickmon.

“Yaqub Talib acted in self-defence and in defense of others,” Mr Birdsall said. “My client is not guilty. He looks forward to the day when he can have his day in court.”

Efforts to reach Aqib Talib for comment on Thursday were not immediately successful.

Tevar Watson, the Bobcats’ owner, said he did not witness the shooting. “He was a good father and a real stand-up guy,” Mr Watson said of Mr Hickmon. “There is no place in youth sport for someone who loses his life.”

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