News: Ex-World Boxing Champion Vernon Forrest Fatally Shot [Video]
Monday, Jul 27, 2009 12:16AM
Former world boxing champion Vernon "The Viper" Forrest was reportedly fatally shot in Georgia over the weekend as a result of an alleged robbery.
Reports of his death landed online Sunday (July 26) afternoon and were later confirmed by various outlets.
Forrest, a former two-division champion who gained stardom when he became the first boxer to defeat Shane Mosley, was shot to death in Atlanta in what police are calling an attempted robbery. Sgt. Lisa Keyes said in an e-mail Sunday that the 38-year-old Forrest was shot several times in the back late Saturday on a street just southwest of downtown. Keyes said there were no suspects. Fulton County medical examiner Michele Stauffenberg confirmed that the case was a homicide and that the autopsy showed Forrest died from "multiple gunshot wounds involving the torso and thigh." (Los Angeles Times)
The shooting reportedly took place as he tried to avoid his vehicle from being stolen.
Forrest was shot on Saturday as he attempted to prevent people from stealing his car at a gas station in southwest Atlanta. His girlfriend's son was in the car at the time. The case is being investigated by the Atlanta police, according to the medical examiner and local media. (Reuters)
Sources close to Forrest have released statements which reflect their reactions to his unexpected death.
Sternburg's fellow publicist, Kelly Swanson, who had worked with Forrest since 2001, described him as "not only my client; he was my friend." Forrest, Swanson continued, "was a feisty one, and always, always spoke his mind. And yet, he was such a gentleman too, always giving back to those less fortunate and appreciating what others did for him. He would go out of his way to call and thank me profusely for the coverage he received. I will miss him dearly and he will forever hold a special place in my heart." (ESPN)
In addition to charities and world boxing acclaim, Forrest also held close ties to artists within the hip-hop community including Nelly.
Nelly celebrated his 34th birthday with dinner in the private dining room at LAVO restaurant inside The Palazzo last November 2008. Dinner was followed by a visit upstairs to the nightclub where he was presented with a cake resembling a Ford Flex. Just prior to dinner, the Grammy Award winning recording artist and actor was surprised with a gift of a Ford Flex that he helped customize. Arriving at the same time was boxer Vernon Forrest, prompting Nelly to joke that he hoped never to be on the wrong side of that punch. Spotted in Nelly's group of friends was rapper Murphy Lee, of the St. Lunatics hip hop group. (Vegas News)
No further information has been released on the late boxer's passing.
Video reports on the fatal robbery have already landed online: