AURORA, Colo. – A former professional athlete turned assistant principal has died after being shot during a dispute over a parking spot, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.
Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham, 46, was an NFL safety for the Seattle Seahawks during the 1996 season. Cunningham was the assistant principal at Hinkley High School in Colorado at the time of his death.
According to the sheriff’s office, Cunningham was shot by a neighbor early Sunday and taken to a hospital where he died Monday. He was reportedly shot during a parking dispute, but details of the argument were not available.
Update to #neighbordispute – ACSO Investigators say Anthony Cunningham died this afternoon. Charges will be amended from attempted murder to first degree murder against suspect Marcus Johnson.
— Arapahoe Sheriff (@ArapahoeSO) February 18, 2019
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, the sheriff’s office reported.
It’s not clear if Johnson, scheduled to appear for a bond hearing Tuesday, has an attorney.
Aurora Public Schools released the following statement: “We are deeply saddened to learn that one of our assistant principals, Anthony (TJ) Cunningham passed away.”
The statement also said counselors would be available at Hinkley High School throughout the week.
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 University of Colorado said on Twitter that Cunningham was “a tremendous part of the CU community and touched countless others beyond Boulder.”
T.J. 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." pic.twitter.com/LKsgivdQ81
— Colorado Buffaloes (@CUBuffs) February 18, 2019