Former NFL Player Killed by Police
Jul. 27, 1999
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Demetrius DuBose, a former football player for Tampa Bay and Notre Dame who fell on hard times, was fatally shot by police who chased him down after he fled a burglary scene, police officials said Monday.
Dubose, 28, a former linebacker for the Buccaneers, was shot several times Saturday. Officers said he charged them while waving their nunchukas, a weapon that consists of two wooden sticks joined at the ends by a short chain or rope.
DuBose fled when officers tried to question him outside a Mission Beach home that had been burglarized. Officers said they tried to stop him by spraying him with mace, but he ran. They caught him, scuffled and he got away again.
When they caught him a second time, they struggled with him. He grabbed the weapons of both officers and started swinging the nunchukas, Lt. Glenn Breitenstein said.
``The officers believed that they were about to be assaulted in a dangerous manner with weapons that could kill them, and they fired,'' Breitenstein said.
Police said DuBose seemed drunk or drugged. An autopsy was conducted Monday. Results of toxicology tests were not expected for a few weeks, Breitenstein said.
The two officers who shot DuBose were removed from field work pending an investigation, Lt. Tom Orden said. Their names were not released.
Former Notre Dame players were surprised to hear what happened.
``I didn't think it would end like this,'' said John Carney, a kicker for the San Diego Chargers who played at Notre Dame a few years before DuBose, but knew him through mutual friends.
``It's tragic. He had a lot going for him,'' Carney said. ``I knew people reached out to him, but he was a hard guy to reach. He didn't want the help.''
DuBose, whose last address was Mammoth Lakes, Calif., played for Notre Dame from 1989 to 1992. He was a second-round draft pick of Tampa Bay in 1993 and played four seasons with the team.
``This is so uncharacteristic,'' said Jerry Angelo, Tampa Bay's director of player personnel. ``If anything went bad in his life, it had to have come after football for it to get to the depths it did.''
Sam Wyche, who coached DuBose for three years at Tampa Bay, said DuBose was let go because he wasn't a good player, not because of anything that happened off the field.
``He talked about (how) if it didn't work out, he'd do the next thing and take it on just as hard. He was just a positive guy,'' Wyche said.
DuBose signed with the New York Jets as a free agent in 1997, but was cut during training camp four months later.
``I don't know how you go from being a (second-round) pick from Notre Dame to getting shot to death for burglary,'' said Chargers guard Aaron Taylor, who also played with DuBose at Notre Dame.
Taylor had heard that DuBose was practically destitute, but few people saw him after he left New York.
``There would be like a `Demetrius sighting' _ he'd just disappear, then show up one day, for a night, then boom, he'd disappear. A buddy said, `God, the guy looked like he was sleeping in his car or something,''' Taylor said.
In 1998, DuBose was arrested in South Bend, Ind., after he became belligerent at a nightclub. When an off-duty police officer working at the club ordered him to leave, DuBose allegedly grabbed a pipe from an overhead sprinkler system _ flooding the club with some 1,600 gallons of water.
He was charged with resisting address, disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana.