Aqib Talib's mother told police that her son might have fired a gun at his sister's boyfriend during a March 21 domestic dispute that resulted in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' troubled cornerback's indictment on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The second-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison. Talib is out of jail on $25,000 bond.
A Dallas County grand jury returned the indictment Friday, and Talib's lawyers, Jay K. Reisinger and Frank A. Perez, quickly released a statement to point out it's "merely a formal accusation" and that "Mr. Talib has not been convicted of any crime with respect to this matter."
"The grand jury was not privy to a number of important facts," the lawyers wrote. "We are very confident that once we have the opportunity to present all of the facts, this matter will be resolved in Mr. Talib's favor. Aqib looks forward to putting this matter behind him and returning to the game of football."
In a three-page arrest affidavit obtained by the St. Petersburg Times, police in Garland, Texas, said Talib pointed a 9mm handgun at Shannon Billings' head, then tried to "pistol whip" him before losing the gun in a struggle. Talib's mother, Okolo, then allegedly used a .380 handgun to fire several shots at Billings before Talib took possession of the firearm and got off two more rounds.
Talib's mother said "she did hear a shot and eventually admitted it could've been Aqib who shot" and that after he "took the gun from her, he chased after Billings with the gun."
Police recovered at least one .380 shell casing from the driveway of a house across the street, supporting the claim that Talib chased Billings and fired at him.
Talib denied that he shot at Billings, telling police that Billings pointed a gun at him. He also said his mother, with another gun, fired several shots at Billings' feet and got off "two more shots in the air" after Talib tried to take away the firearm.
Talib told police that his 9mm handgun had been at his sister's house for a month or two and that Billings was in possession of it when the cornerback arrived March 21. Billings, who claimed that he grabbed the 9mm in the struggle with Talib, led police to the gun, which he had placed in a trash can behind the house.
Billings wasn't injured in the incident.
After interviewing witnesses, police concluded "Okolo and Aqib Talib fired the .380 handgun" at Billings and that Aqib Talib tried to "pistol whip" Billings with the 9mm. Aqib Talib is the registered owner of both weapons, according to police.
The incident wasn't Talib's first brush with the law, and the 2008 first-round draft pick could face punishment from the NFL under its personal-conduct policy.
Talib was charged with simple battery and resisting arrest in connection with an assault on a taxi driver in Tampa in 2009. He was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for the 2010 season opener as punishment for that incident, and Talib settled out of court with the cab driver.
Talib's troubles date to 2008, when he was involved in a fight with fellow Bucs rookie Cory Boyd at the NFL Rookie Symposium. In May 2009, Talib wound up inadvertently hitting teammate Torrie Cox in the face with his helmet while fighting with Donald Penn during a minicamp workout.
The Bucs have yet to take any disciplinary measures against Talib for the latest incident.
"We have not talked about that," Bucs coach Raheem Morris told WHBO-AM earlier this month. "That has not taken place. We will, but that time has not come yet."
Former Bucs defensive tackle Chris Hovan spoke out about Talib last month, saying he believed team management has been too lenient on his former teammate.
"(Talib) has been given too much leeway from Raheem Morris because, I guess, coach Morris (the Bucs' former secondary coach) has favoritism towards him because he played defensive back," said Hovan, who started all but one game for the Bucs from 2005 to 2009. "Again, they are giving this young man way too much leeway. Any other individual would have been cut way before this. But Aqib's got so much talent -- his talent goes through the ceiling.
"But you can't have these offseason issues and you can't keep covering for this kid because they're saying it's OK for what he is doing."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.