The Denver Broncos community is once again dealing with the loss of a promising young player. Kenny McKinley, a 23-year-old native of Georgia, was found dead in his Centennial apartment yesterday afternoon from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, reports The Denver Post.
McKinley was drafted by the Broncos in 2009 and played mostly in special teams, although the young wide receiver was on injured reserve after undergoing knee surgery in August stemming from a late 2009 season injury.
Many Broncos players were attending a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, the home of the Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center, when they learned about McKinley’s death. Williams was killed in a shooting on New Year’s Day 2007 after a fight in a South Broadway nightclub. Running back Damien Nash collapsed and died in a charity basketball game later that year, making McKinley’s death the third in less than four years for the Broncos.
Brandon Stokley, another Broncos receiver on injured reserve, tells the Post that McKinley always seemed happy, calling him “one of the funniest guys I knew.” McKinley recently attended the Georgia-South Carolina football game, where the South Carolina alum rooted for his team in seemingly good spirits, says his former coach.
The Broncos have created a memorial page on the team’s website, and coach Josh McDaniels says in a team statement that “Kenny had a promising future on the football field, but more importantly, he was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room.”