From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:
Terreal Bierria, a former Seattle Seahawks player who started 12 games for the team in 2004, was arrested Tuesday on charges of first-degree murder in Slidell, La.
Bierria, 30, was a fourth-round draft pick of the Seahawks in 2002 and played 30 games for Seattle between 2002-04.
According to this story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Bierria was arrested the day after Soron Salter, his long-time friend, was found stabbed to death inside his apartment in Slidell.
The newspaper reported that police indicated evidence pointed toward a fight over drugs and that a “significant amount” of cocaine was found inside the home.
One decision — it’s worth noting it was the right decision — changed everything. It altered his NFL career. Some might even say it killed it.
That decision, though, saved his family.
Bierria had started 12 games for the Seahawks in 2004, but was replaced late in the year because of performance and played only on special teams in Seattle’s playoff loss to St. Louis. In training camp in 2005, he was fighting for a spot on the team. That’s the NFL. And he was struggling.
But Bierria wasn’t worried about his football career. He had far bigger concerns.
In the final days of camp, he had been sick with fear. His family — some 150 relatives — was trapped in the New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina. He paced restlessly at the team hotel, watching as one news program after another showed thousands of people being feasted on by the deadly natural disaster.
He dialed family members’ cell phones nonstop. He could find out only bits and pieces. He didn’t know who was dead or alive. And he’s supposed to worry about blitz schemes?
Thank God he heard from his daughter, mother, father and brother within the first couple days of the storm. His mother reached him from a hospital phone in Ruston, La. She did not have good news. The home Bierria bought for them was all but gone, along with his high school and Milne’s Playground in downtown New Orleans, where his mother first signed him up for rec football. His grandmother was OK, but her home was buried by seven trees. A cousin was stranded on his roof, another on a bridge; some more family was in the Superdome, where news reports said something close to anarchy was taking place. An uncle was in intensive care in San Antonio, fighting for his life.
So many people he loved were suffering, and he was thousands of miles away feeling totally helpless.
“Just hearing the stories about the rapes going on in the shelters, people killing themselves, just the mad pandemonium going on down here,” Bierria says. “As a man, I can’t not go home and see about what’s going on there.”
He couldn’t justify staying in Seattle, sitting comfortably in a lucrative NFL lifestyle while his relatives’ lives were being torn apart.
“I didn’t know where half of my family was, and the other half, I didn’t know if I was ever going to see them again,” he says.