By Da Lin

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — Richmond police are asking for the public’s help to catch the gunman who killed a former NFL player Thursday afternoon.

Detectives said 38-year-old Terrell Roberts was visiting his grandmother when a man shot him once in the chest while he was in the garage.  He collapsed and died in the backyard.  Police are asking neighbors who have surveillance cameras to look at their footage and contact the police if there’s something useful.  The shooting happened after 4 p.m. at 1246 Fascination Circle in Richmond.

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Richmond police said the gunman is a black man between 25 and 35 years old, roughly 250 pounds, bald with a beard. They said he was wearing a black shirt at the time of the murder.

On Friday, a constant flow of family and friends stopped by the house to offer comfort and support to Roberts’ grandmother and twin brother.

“I want to bring some roses to his grandmother and just give her a hug cause I’ve known her for a long time,” said Cisco Pineda, a very close friend of Roberts.

Terrell Roberts of the Cincinnati Bengals poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Getty Images)

Pineda questioned why anyone would kill the former Cincinnati Bengals defensive back.

“He was like another brother to me.  And for me, it’s just terrible.  It’s a sad loss,” said Pineda.

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Family and friends all said Roberts was well respected and a strong family man.

“An excellent father, a great guy, a loving grandson, loving son,” described Darla Ford-Bostic, who said she’s Roberts’ auntie.

After Roberts graduated from El Cerrito High School in 1999, he played for Oregon State University.  The Bengals signed him in 2003 after he went un-drafted.  The cornerback played in 23 games in two seasons. The Bengals released him in 2005 after he injured his knee.  His college teammate, Jonathan Smith, is now the football head coach back at Oregon State.

“Obviously devastating is what comes to mind.  You’re talking about a guy who was a bunch of fun to be around.  A real competitor on the field and off the field. Good friend to so many. [I] had some special memories with him,” said Smith.

Roberts returned to the Bay Area after his professional football career ended.  His grandmother’s neighborhood is a place where everybody seems to know everybody.  Many neighbors said he visited his grandmother a lot.  They wonder was the gunman waiting for him, was it a robbery gone bad, or was he targeted for some other reason.

“We would talk, very interesting, very nice guy,” said neighbor Donald Monk.

“It’s just kind of unnerving right now,” said another neighbor, Victor Gee, uncertain if it was a random crime that could have happened to anyone.

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Police haven’t released a motive, but said it’s not a case of mistaken identity. Roberts’ twin brother was too emotional and declined an interview with KPIX 5 Friday afternoon. We understand Roberts is survived by a son.