NFL player's grandmother, shot accidentally, has died

Mae Worthy, whose husband accidentally shot her Wednesday night, died at 9:38 a.m. Friday at Miami Valley Hospital, according to Huber Heights police.

James Worthy, her husband of 50 years, was handling a gun in a bedroom and accidentally fired a shot that struck the 69-year-old woman, who was in another room of their home in 6300 block Rolling Glen Drive, police said.

"It went through the bedroom wall, down into the opposite end of the house and it just happened to strike her while she was sitting on the couch," Huber Heights police Lt. Matt Dulaney said Thursday. "The evidence is in line with his story as to what he's telling us... . (Detectives and evidence crews) have done a thorough investigation and the preliminary investigation reveals that it does appear that it is an accidental shooting."

Content Continues Below

The Worthys are the grandparents of Jerel Worthy, a defensive end for the Green Bay Packers who played at Wayne and Michigan State University. Mae Worthy used to cook for Wayne High School football players and made cookies for his grandson's college team.

Via Twitter, Worthy wrote: "She will forever be remember by the countless lives that she has touched. We ask for your respect in our time of grieving."

Worthy also posted: "I would like to thank everyone for your prayers n support. My family was truly grateful to spend the time we had with such an amazing woman."

Dulaney said prosecutors will review the case and decide if James Worthy will face any charges for negligence with firearms. He was taken into custody and questioned, but police said he was never under arrest.

Police received a 911 call at 10:52 p.m. Wednesday from one of the Worthys" daughters, who had been called by her father. "I think he's in a panic," the daughter told a dispatcher.

Wednesday's episode was not the first shooting near the Worthys' home. In 2007, James Worthy tried to break up a dispute between his granddaughter and her father when a gun fired and hit his granddaughter. Worthy was not charged.

Dulaney said firearm safety has tragically been highlighted: "If you're going to be handling a firearm, to be sure you are pointing it in a safe direction," Dulaney said. "A bullet can even travel through walls, as we saw in the case."

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Center for Disease Control reported that 17,362 people were injured by accidental shootings in 2012. The National Shooting Sports Foundation said that the number of unintentional firearm fatalities has fallen from 1,441 in 1991 to 600 in 2011.