Sports

Sheriff: Ex-WR Jackson may have had alcoholism


TAMPA, Fla. — The family of late Buccaneers and Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson told the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office that it believes he was suffering from chronic alcoholism and concussions at the time of his death, the sheriff’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

The statement came after Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister went on a local morning radio show on Q105 on Wednesday to discuss Jackson’s death.

“Sheriff Chronister does not speak on behalf of the Jackson family,” a Jackson family spokesperson later told ESPN. “The full autopsy report will not be available for weeks. Our focus right now is on laying Vincent to rest.”

Jackson was found dead at a Tampa Bay-area hotel on Monday. He had just turned 38 years old and left behind a wife and four children.

A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told ESPN there has been no indication of foul play and that “it will take a completed autopsy report and toxicology report to know with certainty what caused his death.”

But officials have begun painting a picture of Jackson’s life in his final weeks, one that ended tragically and has left a community and former teammates in mourning and with endless questions.

“It could be several weeks before we know what led to the untimely and tragic death of Vincent Jackson,” the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in the statement. “The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office continues to conduct a thorough investigation alongside the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Based on statements made by relatives of Jackson to detectives, his family had reason to believe he may have suffered from chronic alcoholism and concussions, however, the exact cause and manner of Mr. Jackson’s death will not be certain until his autopsy, among other reports, is complete.”

Chronister said on the radio that an autopsy report would be made available Wednesday, but a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office told ESPN that that was not the case, and that not even a preliminary report would be issued Wednesday, although they were made aware of Chronister’s comments.

“The manner and cause of death are pending further study,” said Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office spokesperson Michelle Van Dyke. “It could take up to several months for a formal autopsy report, depending on what tests need to be run.”

The initial case summary is not available yet, either, and won’t be released Wednesday, Van Dyke said, adding that it’s still being worked on.

Jackson was not living with his family at the time of his death but had been staying at a Homewood Suites in Brandon, Florida, for more than a month.



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