Kenny McKinley, Broncos WR, Found Dead

Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead inside his home on September 20, with police ruling the death an apparent suicide.

McKinley was found by a female friend at his Centennial, Colorado, apartment. He was 23. The Arapahoe County coroner said McKinley, who started his NFL career with the Broncos last year, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. McKinley’s suicide shocked both his family and the Broncos organization. His family said they never saw any inkling that McKinley was facing problems that would drive him to kill himself. His teammates also said that McKinley was always smiling and joking around. “He was always a guy that used to love to joke with me and I would joke back and forth with him. But he had a big smile on his face,” Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard said.

McKinley’s death is the third tragedy to hit the Broncos in the last four years. In early 2008, running back Damien Nash died after collapsing at a charity basketball game, while corenerback Darrent Williams was killed in a drive-by shooting on New Year’s Day 2007.