Burress shows up at charity event

December 12, 2008 8:49:50 PM PST
For the first time since his arrest and his suspension from the Giants, Plaxico Burress made a public appearance Friday night. Nearly two weeks ago, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg while at a nightclub. He's now facing criminal charges.

Burress was at another nightclub, but this time he was there for a charity event. It's an attempt at an image makeover, as Burress and his family came to the event, designed to fill a large truck with clothes for the homeless.

Burress, his wife and young son showed up at the charity event for Safe Horizons, an organization that helps homeless teens.

It was the first time Burress spoke publicly since shooting himself in the thigh at the Latin Quarter nightclub. The Giants wide receiver refused to answer any questions about the shooting.

"We're just here for the event," he said. "That's it."

The Super Bowl star has been suspended by the Giants for the rest of the season. He faces a felony weapons charge that requires a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years if he is convicted. At the event, Burress' supporters rose to his defense.

"He wanted to come out, he wanted this to be his first public appearance," friend Kevin Powell said. "He wanted folks know that he's not just about hanging out in clubs. He's a serious family man and he does care about people."

Powell is a writer and producer who organized the event and clothing drive. He says Burress' appearance is the first step in rehabbing his image.

"He said he has a lot of remorse about what happened," Powell said. "So this is actually the first of many things that you'll be seeing publicly now that he'll be doing."

Before Burress headlines any anti-gun events, he'll have to get his criminal case in order. His next court appearance is in March.


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Jen Maxfield