MIAMI - Hundreds of mourners waited in a line a block long yesterday to pay their respects to Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor, as four young men sat in jail cells across the state charged with his killing.
Taylor's family gathered alone around his casket and left before the doors of Second Baptist Church opened to the public. Mourners filed through the church, pausing at the athlete's open casket, where he lay in a dark suit, as a choir sang behind it.
Dozens of flower arrangements filled the church, including an orange-and-green "U" symbolizing the University of Miami, and one in the shape of a badge for the Florida City Police, where Taylor's father is chief.
The service came only hours after a fourth man charged in the shooting death of the 24-year-old Taylor appeared briefly in court and, like his codefendants, was denied bond. Jason Mitchell, 19, appeared briefly via videoconference in a Fort Myers courtroom, about 100 miles from here. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, he responded quietly when asked if he understood the charges.
The four suspects have been charged with unpremeditated murder, home invasion with a firearm or another deadly weapon, and armed burglary. They will be transported to Miami, though authorities haven't said when.
Taylor died Tuesday, one day after being shot at his home in an affluent Miami suburb.
The mourning was set to continue today with a massive funeral at a Florida International University arena. The entire Redskins team is expected to attend.
In Landover, Md., where the Redskins lost to the Bills, 17-16, fans left flowers and other objects at a makeshift memorial outside the stadium. The crowd roared and waved white towels with Taylor's No. 21 on them during a pregame tribute video shown on the scoreboard.
The Redskins' defense had its own tribute to the slain safety, using just 10 players on Buffalo's first offensive play.
Taylor's number was on patches on the Redskins' jerseys and stickers on their helmets; the Bills and other NFL teams wore it on their helmets, too.