Former CFL linebacker, wife shot dead

Former CFL linebacker Antonio Armstrong and his wife Dawn were fatally shot at their home in Houston on Friday and a 16-year-old boy has been charged as a juvenile with murder in the slayings.

Texas A&M University, where Armstrong played his collegiate football, identified the victims in a statement.

Police said officers discovered the wounded couple about 2 a.m. Friday. Dawn Armstrong died at the scene, and Antonio Armstrong was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann Hospital hours later with a gunshot wound to the head. He was 42.

The suspect’s identity is being withheld because of his age.

Armstrong started his CFL career in 1998 with the B.C. Lions where he played two seasons before being traded to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2000.

The six foot one, 235 pounder was an East Division all-star in 2000 while also earning Winnipeg’s defensive player of the year honours.

A fractured left ankle on Oct. 15, 2000 sidelined Armstrong for a period of time. He attempted to return to the NFL, where he played for the Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams, before re-signing with the Blue Bombers in 2001.

Armstrong started in the 89th Grey Cup that fall — a game which Winnipeg lost to the Calgary Stampeders. He retired in 2002.

CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge reacted to Armstrong’s death with a tweet on Saturday.

“Unthinkable tragedy has claimed life of former Bomber & Lion Antonio Armstrong & his wife Dawn. Our thoughts & prayers to all who loved them,” he said.

The Blue Bombers issued a tweet on Friday indicating that their thoughts and prayers were with the Armstrong family.

Texas A&M released a statement Friday saying Antonio Armstrong was a letterman who played for the Aggies from 1991 to 1994 and described him as a cornerstone of the A&M “Wrecking Crew” defence. He was named first-team Associated Press All-America linebacker in 1994 and was drafted in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

An ankle fracture in training camp led to his release that October. He signed with the Dolphins and played in four games with Miami that season, logging four solo tackles. Armstrong signed with the Rams the following year but was released after their training camp.