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Former NFL player fatally shot in dispute over parking spot

T.J. Cunningham with his family (GoFundMe)

AURORA, Colo. — Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham, a former Seattle Seahawks player and assistant principal at a Colorado high school, has died after being shot during a dispute over a parking spot, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said.

Cunningham, 46, an NFL safety during the 1996 season, was shot by a neighbor early Sunday and taken to a hospital, where he died Monday, the sheriff’s office said via Twitter.

Cunningham was reportedly shot during a parking dispute, but details of the argument were not available. The shooting occurred near Eaglecrest High School and Thunder Ridge Middle School in Aurora.

The neighbor, Marcus Johnson, 31, was originally held on attempted murder charges, but the charges were amended to first-degree murder after Cunningham’s death, according to the sheriff’s office.

It’s not clear if Johnson, who was being held without bond, has an attorney.

Aurora Public Schools said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened to learn that one of our assistant principals, Anthony (TJ) Cunningham passed away.”

Counselors were available at Hinkley High School, where Cunningham worked, throughout the week, the statement said.

Cunningham played wide receiver and defensive back at the University of Colorado. He was the 209th overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft by Seattle, according to the Seahawks website.

The Colorado Buffaloes said on Twitter that Cunningham was “a tremendous part of the CU community and touched countless others beyond Boulder.

“We were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the death of T.J. Cunningham. He was a good family man and had a strong passion for working with young people.”

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