Police: Kenny McKinley Depressed in Recent Weeks, Hinted at Suicide
"He had made statements that he didn't know what he would do if he could not play football and football was all he knew," an investigator with the Arapahoe County (Col.) Sheriff's Department wrote in the report released Tuesday night.
McKinley, 23, was found dead Monday afternoon in his home in Aurora. McKinley apparently used a Taurus semi-automatic .45 caliber handgun to shoot himself in the head. Police found the gun entangled in a pillow McKinley placed over his head, one of the factors that led the county coroner to rule the death a suicide on Tuesday.
Deputies found no signs of forced entry, although they did smell a strong odor of marijuana and found a small amount of the drug.
McKinley, a former South Carolina standout who was drafted by the Broncos in the fifth round in 2009, played in eight games last year before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. The team again put him on IR before the 2010 season in the wake of knee surgery about a month ago. According to the report, McKinley had been taking 500 milligrams of Naproxen, an over the counter pain reliever.
"He made statements while playing dominoes shortly after the surgery that he should just kill himself," an investigator wrote.
Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who held back tears during a news conference Tuesday, told reporters there was "nothing to alarm us of anything like this."
"We've all seen him recently and he's been the same person every time we've seen him," he said.
An initial investigation by the coroner put the time of death between noon and 2 p.m. MT. Brittany Boyd, wife of McKinley's longtime friend and former Broncos running back Cory Boyd, along with her best friend, Shantell Smith, were asked to look after McKinley's toddler son, who had been picked up from the airport that morning. The three went to Chick-fil-A for lunch around 12:15 on Monday and returned about a half an hour later. They checked on McKinley who was "in bed with a sheet over his entire body" and "they decided to let him sleep some more."
At about 3 p.m., Smith and Boyd pulled the sheet off McKinley in an attempt to wake him up and saw the gun pointed at McKinley's head "with blood everywhere." The call was immediately placed to 911. Neither of the two women reported hearing gunshots.
McKinley's son was released to Brittany Boyd until his mother, who lives in South Carolina, can travel to the Denver area to get him.