ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Commanders player Brian Robinson Jr. is out of surgery and able to post on social media after being shot multiple times during an attempted robbery in Northeast, D.C. Sunday evening.
The rookie running back had been out to eat on H Street NE around 6:15 p.m. when police say two juveniles attacked him. Police say Robinson wrestled a gun away from one of the teens who tried to rob him before he was shot in the leg and hip by a second teenager, who was also armed. Investigators believe the suspects are between the ages of 15 and 17 years old.
Robinson provided updates on his condition on social media Monday. This is the first time the public has heard from him since the shooting.
"Surgery went well!" Robinson posted on his Instagram stories Monday morning. "Thanks for the prayers! God is Great!"
The Commanders held their first practice since the shooting at their facility in Ashburn, Virginia. Coach Ron Rivera said he thought his team practiced remarkably well, given the circumstances.
"You could feel the anger swelling up, but also the concern," Rivera said. "The conversations were really about 'hope he’s okay.' There was a lot of worry."
Rivera said once one of his coaches had heard from Robinson, he reached out as well, and felt relief once he heard his voice.
"I texted him [and] he called me to let me know he was gonna be okay," Rivera said. "That took a lot off my mind.”
Several teammates reached out to Brian as well while he was in the hospital.
"It's heartbreaking, it’s a wake up call for everybody," starting quarterback Carson Wentz said. "There’s a lot of things that are sad and wrong in our society.”
"I'm glad that he is healthy and alive," receiver Terry McLaurin added.
Coach Rivera was wearing orange during his press conference, to honor all victims of gun violence. The coach called for a focus on ending the violence, and said it cannot be made a partisan issue.
"This continues to be a nationwide epidemic," Rivera said. "This has to be something everyone needs to work on and come together."
MPD said they recovered the gun used to shoot Robinson in a nearby alley. And investigators believe they also found the getaway car, which appears to have been stolen from Prince George’s County days earlier.
"If you know you have a young person that’s involved in crime, and may have access to guns, may have a gun in your home, you need to reach out to us so we can get them some help before they hurt themselves or get hurt," DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a DC Public Schools ribbon cutting ceremony Monday. "But we also need young people to face consequences."
DC Councilmember Charles Allen, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, said slowing the gun violence problem in the District will take a regional approach, and has to go deeper than arrests and prosecution.
"There has to be accountability when harm is done, when damage is done," Allen said. "And we have to ask the next question -- why did it take place? Why did a kid have a gun?”
Robinson has been one of the bright spots for the Commanders offense during the preseason. Robinson tallied 26 rushing yards and a touchdown on six carries in the first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. He added 31 yards on eight carries in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Robinson didn't play against the Baltimore Ravens with his role in the offense solidified. According to a source close to the team, Robinson was expected to be named the starting running back for the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The running back was drafted by the Commanders this year in the third round. He spent his college career at Alabama, leading the team with 1,343 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns last season.
“Brian’s been great," Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner said. "He's a real serious guy. Football is extremely important to him. He takes a lot of pride in being a physical runner ... I was happy and impressed with him the way that he ran."
Robinson was a four-star recruit of Alabama back in 2017. He was the eighth-ranked running back in the nation. He didn’t disappoint in five seasons under Nick Saban despite splitting time with the likes of fellow NFL players Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs. Last season was a true breakout for Robinson in Tuscaloosa.