Paralyzed gunshot victim Collier released from hospital

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier, paralyzed from the waist down following a shooting in September, has been released from the hospital.

Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio confirmed Monday that Collier was released. He will continue his recovery at an undisclosed location because the person who shot him remains at large.

Collier had 14 gunshot wounds to his back, left groin, left leg and right buttock. A bullet severed his spinal cord, causing the paralysis, and his left leg had to be amputated because of blood clots.

The 26-year-old player was on a ventilator for two weeks and endured infections, bouts of pneumonia and renal failure.

"He's going to have a long, difficult rehab," Del Rio said. "We just want to be there, help support him. I just thank God he's alive. When I saw him the day after he'd been shot, I really did not think that there would be a day when he would get out of the hospital. He was in bad, bad shape.

"I just thank God that he's still alive, and I know that God kept him alive for some reason. I hope that Big Rich finds that calling and is able to do some good in the world with the time he has left here on Earth."

Collier and former teammate Kenneth Pettway were waiting for two women outside an apartment complex early Sept. 2 when a gunman fired into the vehicle, according to police. Pettway was not injured.

The motive behind the attack is unknown, although investigators believe Collier may have been targeted. Collier has no memory of the shooting.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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