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From the AdultfyiFootball Pool Files: Plaxico Surrenders to the Police in Gun Incident

Nearly three days after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub, Giants receiver Plaxico Burress turned himself in at a New York City police precinct in midtown Manhattan on Monday morning to face charges of criminal possession of a handgun.

At 8 a.m., Burress, escorted by his lawyer, stepped out of a black Cadillac Escalade and walked calmly into the 17th Precinct station house at East 51st Street and Lexington Avenue — three blocks north of the night club where the incident took place — as throngs of onlookers, some of them heckling, and reporters stood behind metal barricades.

Dressed in jeans and a white shirt with a collar, Burress did not appear to be limping, and said nothing as he entered the precinct.

His lawyer, Benjamin Branfman, emerged moments later and said Mr. Burress would “deal with the legal process in a responsible and professional manner.”

“He is standing tall,” he said. “He’s a mature adult handling this very well, I think, under the circumstances. He has asked me to tell all the fans who’ve written and called, and his teammates, that he very much appreciates their expressions of concern.”

Burress, a star player with a history of trouble both on and off the field, could face more than three years in prison, the authorities have said, because he did not have a permit to carry a gun in New York City. A law enforcement official said that the gun, a Glock semiautomatic pistol, was recovered at Burress’s home in Totowa, N.J.

The police have said they are also interested in talking with Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, who was with Burress when the gun went off in an alcove near the V.I.P. room section of the Latin Quarters nightclub. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was with them, but he was in a different part of the club at the time of the shooting.

While the Giants beat the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Burress remained inside his sprawling estate, tending to his injury. Burress had not been scheduled to play against the Redskins because of a hamstring strain in that same leg. Pierce did play, and Bradshaw was in attendance, although out of uniform with a neck injury.

Earlier in the day, Burress hired Brafman, who has represented high-profile defendants like the hip-hop mogul Sean Combs, and they spent about an hour together at Burress’s home, discussing his legal options.

After that meeting, Brafman characterized Burress’s emotional state as “clearly not pleased about these events.”

“I ask his fans and the New York Giants to withhold judgment in this case until the facts come out,” Brafman said in a telephone interview Sunday, adding that he did not yet know the possible punishment that Burress could be facing.

“It depends on the degree of crime that they charge him with, and they have not told me that yet,” he said.

According to state law, a person carrying a gun without a permit faces 3 ½ to 15 years in prison if prosecutors prove that the person intended to use the weapon on another person. If intent to use cannot be proved, the person may still face felony charges that could result in up to seven years in prison.

In addition, Burress may also be facing punishment by the N.F.L. Under the league’s personal-conduct policy, violations of local gun laws can result in a player’s suspension.

Officials from the league and the Giants have yet to determine what, if any, punishment Burress would receive as a result of the incident.

“We are cooperating with the police and continuing to monitor the situation,” the N.F.L. spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Speaking before the game, the Giants’ co-owner and president, John Mara, said he would not consider possible disciplinary actions against Burress — or Burress’s future with the Giants — until he learned more about the situation.

“Right now, we’re at the stage where we’re going to wait until the investigation plays out and get all the facts,” Mara said. “There are a lot of unanswered questions out there.”

As of game time, Giants officials said they had not spoken with Burress since the incident early Saturday. Burress had not returned telephone calls, the Giants’ general manager, Jerry Reese, said.

Pierce declined to answer questions about the shooting after the game. While speaking to reporters, Pierce fidgeted with his hands, which were tucked inside the pockets of his brown pinstriped suit. On Saturday, according to Giants executives, N.F.L. security officials interviewed Pierce at the team’s hotel in Washington, inquiring about his role in the shooting.

Still, Pierce, who did not say if he had hired a lawyer to represent him, said the incident and its aftermath were not a distraction for him or his team.

“I’m a professional football player, and my job is on Sundays to focus on that; it’s my only focus,” he said. “The distraction gave us a win, 23-7.”

Asked about Burress’s injury, he snapped: “I went to school for four years at the University of Arizona, but I didn’t get a doctorate. So I don’t have that answer.”

Defensive end Justin Tuck defended Pierce, saying: “I think all of us know what kind of person Antonio is. I think it’s just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was trying to do his best to help his teammate and his friend out.”

Mara and Reese said they were still unclear about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, which resulted in Burress’s being treated and released by a New York City hospital within 24 hours. The bullet broke through the skin of his right thigh and pierced muscle tissue, but no bones or arteries were compromised.

This is yet another time Giants officials have had to answer questions about a controversy involving Burress, 31, a talented but troublesome receiver.

He caught the winning touchdown pass in last season’s Super Bowl and signed a five-year, $35 million contract this year just before the Giants’ season opener. But he has had a string of troubles this season.

Burress was suspended for 12 days, including for a victory over Seattle, because he missed meetings without explanation. He was also fined by the league for criticizing officials in another game.

“I’m disappointed that this happened and that any of our guys would put themselves in this kind of situation,” Mara said of the shooting, before adding that the issue of players carrying guns was not new.

He said that the subject arose when team owners met with officials from the players union in February. To prevent situations like Burress’s, the league and its teams meet with players every year to try to educate them about gun possession and the complications of it, Mara said.

“Players, for whatever reason, feel the need to carry guns,” Mara said before the game. “It’s not something that we’re particularly pleased about, but that is the choice that they make. You’d like to think that most of them are licensed to do that, but I’m not sure that is always the case.”

Brafman said Burress held a gun permit in Florida. Online records show that the permit expired May 21. Even if it were renewed, it would not matter. According to New York law, one must hold a New York gun permit to carry a concealed weapon in the state. Burress does not.

Burress also did not have a permit to carry a firearm in New Jersey, his state of residence, according to Chief Robert Coyle of the Totowa Police Department. He added that a Florida permit was not recognized in New Jersey. “He wouldn’t be able to carry here at all,” he said.

As the facts of the situation continued to unfold Saturday morning, Giants Coach Tom Coughlin briefed the team. He said news of the shooting was a hiccup, not a major distraction, in the team’s preparation.

“We all are upset about what happened to Plaxico, and hopefully he’s going to be fine,” Coughlin said. “I felt like the team, that group, decided they were going to focus right away. The guys went right back to work.”

Some players said the team was able to stay focused, partly because Burress had not been scheduled to play. After the game, reporters bombarded them with questions.

As news of Burress’s surrender to the police had spread, most of his teammates said they did not know enough about the situation to comment on it. Other teammates rallied around him.

Center Shaun O’Hara said that his “heart goes out” to Burress and that he was relieved Burress’s injury was not serious.

“There’s not enough time in the day for anger,” O’Hara said. “He’s a teammate, and there’s going to be enough people trying to bring him down. We’re here to support him.”


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