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Police kill former NFL player after he refused to put gun down

Ekom Udofia reportedly suffered from mental health issues.

Ekom Udofia Getty Images

An ex-NFL player was shot and killed by Phoenix cops who begged him to drop his pistol, ABC15 reported.

On Nov. 30, officers received calls about a man that was messing with cars and acting bizarrely in the wee hours of the morning. Upon their arrival, they discovered Ekom Udofia — former player on the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints — on the street with a gun in hand.

In an attempt to prevent any fatal shootings, law enforcement pleaded with him to dispose of his weapon. “Please drop the gun, dude! Please!” one officer screamed, according to recently released bodycam footage. “Drop the gun, man! Please! Please! Do not make me shoot you!”

Another officer interjected, using Udofia’s failure to comply as an excuse to ring fire. “Dude, I gotta shoot him,” he said before firing at the ex-athlete multiple times. Despite being shot, however, Udofia continued to ignore cops’ orders as he held on to his weapon. Officers attempted to subdue him with non-lethal shots, pepper balls and a police dog, but the former NFL baller managed to get up and point his gun in their direction. The police shot him a few more times, and he died shortly after at a local hospital. His weapon was later identified as a non-lethal BB gun.

Following Udofia’s short stint as a professional football in player in both the United States and Canada, he was arrested for indecent exposure, assault and unlawful flight from the law. It is believed he suffered from mental health issues, which may have contributed to his criminal behavior.

“Our medical community, our community as a whole needs to step up to do a better job providing help to people who are having mental health issues,” said Andy Anderson, a retired Phoenix assistant police chief. “It’s too late to get a social worker involved when somebody has a gun in their hand. But there are other calls, and it’s going to come down to evaluating those calls and some kind of protocol that you put in place.”

Udofia’s death will be investigated by the Phoenix Police Department.

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