June 30, 2010
Terrible news for former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham and his family — Cunningham's 2-year-old son Christian drowned Tuesday afternoon in a hot tub in the backyard of Cunningham's Nevada home. Las Vegas Police Lieutenant Dennis Flynn has been quoted as saying that it was an accident. According to initial reports, Cunningham was not at home Tuesday afternoon when the child was found, and that an unnamed woman tried to resuscitate the child after finding him at about 4:30 p.m. She called 911 at 4:45, and the child was taken to St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus, where he passed away.
[PHOTOS: More of Randall Cunningham with his son]
Cunningham, 47, is an ordained minister in Las Vegas. According to a family friend who talked with ABC News, when the news broke, about 100 people came to the Cunningham home to sing, pray, and grieve with the family. Cunningham is the pastor of a church he founded called Remnant Ministries. He has performed baptisms in that same hot tub, according to reports. From ABC:
"We were there for support," said [a] church member, who asked not to be identified by name. "It's about being a church family and supporting the family ... I just can't imagine going through a tragedy like this without having a church family there for you."
The family friend also described Christian Cunningham to an ABC News reporter.
"He was always active and running around, smiling and giving everybody hugs and jumping on their laps. He was so full of life. He was not only the Cunningham child, he was also the church's child. He trusted everybody."
Police spokespeople have told news sources that there is an open investigation into the child's death, though no foul play or neglect is assumed. It appears to be a horrible, random accident.
More friends and family will gather at Cunningham's church Thursday to show support.
Cunningham, who passed for 29,979 yards and 207 touchdowns in his 16-year NFL career from 1985 to 2001, made four Pro Bowls and is considered the prototype of the modern mobile quarterback. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens. He took his son onto the field last year (pictured above) when he was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame at a halftime ceremony.
Cunningham and his wife, Felicity, have three other children: Randall II, Vashti and Grace.
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