Giants' Cruz: I did 'nothing negative' as witness to club shooting

Coaches are fond of saying that nothing good happens after midnight, a hard-taught and time-tested lesson to reign in players who might otherwise find trouble off the field. 

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and some of his teammates got a first-hand lesson early Tuesday morning at the Juliet Supperclub in Manhattan.

On Wednesday, Cruz recounted the shooting that left one dead and the melee that ensued, detailing his escape from the club. Cruz said his main concern was the safety of his friends as he tried "to make it out in one piece."

Cruz was there with friends -- none of whom were harmed -- to celebrate his 25th birthday.

"It's tough," Cruz said. "You want to go out, and you want to have fun, and you want to have friends come out and do things for your birthday, but you never want it to be this way.

"You understand that things like that may happen and a scene like that. But you think the club takes good precautions and things like that, but sometimes you can't help it."

Cruz wouldn't confirm who was with him, but The New York Times reported the Giants present included defensive end Chris Canty, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, safety Antrel Rolle, and cornerback Aaron Ross.

Nicks' agent denied that his client was at the club, according to multiple reports.

Cruz insisted the incident would not be a distraction, although he's been answering questions about it for two days. It draws an easy comparison to the incident in which Plaxico Burressshot himself in a Manhattan club in November of 2009.

"Obviously the stereotype is going to be there: the Giants' guy at a club, gun shots go off," Cruz said. "I understood all of that. But I know I did nothing wrong, I knew I was there, completely innocent, trying to have a good time with some friends. That was it. I knew I wasn't doing anything negative."

Speaking to the Star-Ledger on Tuesday, Cruz said his clubbing days are over

Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the team about the incident after practice on Wednesday, adding that he spoke to Cruz as a parent would speak to his son.

"I don't know what good happens at 2:30 or 3 in the morning," Coughlin said. "I've never been able to figure that one out. Beyond that is between he and I."

Cruz was asked if anything good happens at 2:30 a.m.

"There's dollar pizza," he replied. "That's about it."

Police said the gunman and victim had argued.

Artis Arthur, 43, was shot twice and killed. A 28-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were wounded and were in stable condition, police said.

Police were searching for the suspected gunman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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