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Attorney: Vick involved in confrontation, but left before shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The city's lead prosecutor said Wednesday night that Michael Vick was involved in a confrontation before a shooting that followed his 30th birthday celebration.

Commonwealth's Attorney Harvey L. Bryant told The Associated Press Wednesday night in a telephone interview that Vick was not involved in the shooting and that he left the nightclub "in the 3 to 5 minute range" before it occurred.

Bryant would not go into detail about the confrontation, but said there was no evidence the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was involved in "anything that would amount to aggressive or assaultive conduct."

"He's an athlete and an entertainer, but he's also a human being, and things that would tick you and I off would tick him off," Bryant said. "But he extricated himself from those things and left with the help and encouragement of some of his friends and supporters."

Police have said Vick was not the shooter. Bryant said the investigation also shows that Vick "was not aware of whether or not anyone was going to be shot, was threatened to be shot or anything to do with any of that business."

Neither Vick's attorney, Larry Woodward, or his agent, Joel Segal, returned phone messages Wednesday night.

Bryant, who has declined to press charges at this time against anyone in the shooting, said the victim and witnesses have not cooperated. He would not confirm a police statement made Tuesday that they know who the shooter is, but did say that the case remains open.

"There are no other suspects in this case, including Michael Vick," the police said in a statement Tuesday.

That exoneration didn't stop Vick from expressing regret over the incident, which occurred outside Guadalajara nightclub in Virginia Beach.

"There should've never been a party," Vick told WTXF-TV while he visited a Philadelphia courthouse as part of his probation on federal dogfighting charges.

The Eagles released a statement Saturday refuting an earlier Associated Press report that the team was strongly considering releasing Vick.

"Any report or speculation that suggests the Eagles are considering releasing Vick are not true," the Eagles' statement said. "We will continue to gather information and monitor the situation and we will not have any further comment until that process is complete."

The victim has not been identified by police, but Woodward said it was Quanis Phillips -- a co-defendant in the federal dogfighting case that landed Vick in federal prison. Phillips, who Woodward said was not invited to the party and did not interact with Vick while there, was treated at a hospital and released the following day.

The shooting occurred a block away from the nightclub where the party was held.

Vick was interviewed by detectives in the case a few days later.

"He has sat down with Virginia Beach detectives and answered all their questions and, in our view, has been cooperative ... and I should say cooperative and truthful," Bryant said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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