The Tragic Death Of Darrent Williams: A 24-year-old Father Murdered In A Drive-by On New Year’s Day 2007

The passing of Darrent Williams stunned not only the Denver Broncos organization but the entire football community. A young and dynamic cornerback, brimming with hope and potential for the future, was tragically cut down in a drive-by shooting on January 1, 2007.

More than 15 years later, this brutal killing continues to have repercussions – not only in the hearts of friends and family but also in a legal system that sought justice using Colorado State law and ultimately imposed a life sentence for the perpetrator. 

Many who were fortunate to witness Darrent’s strength and skill on the field will never forget him. His memory inspires others, especially those whose lives have been disrupted by violence, such as his own.

William’s premature death left his 24-year-old fiancée, four-year-old daughter, and infant son tragically behind in Fort Worth, Texas.

To honor their lost loved one, a memorial fund was established with assistance from William’s two friends Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin. The pair had been socializing with William in a local nightclub at the time of the fatal shooting. To commemorate their dear friend and provide for his children, they announced their commitment to setting up a college fund for his kids.

In addition, fans created a fan-built tribute on the south side of the fountain in front of the Invesco Field at Mile High featuring William’s signature “fro-hawk.” Countless individuals still cherish his memory and express condolences to his family.

William’s assassination case 

On the morning of January 1, 2007 tragedy struck when former Denver Broncos running back Darrent Williams was senselessly killed in a drive-by shooting.

He was traveling with two other passengers in a hired Hummer H2 limousine near Speer Boulevard and 11th Avenue in downtown Denver at around 2:10 AM (09:10 GMT). 

Mere 12 hours earlier, Williams had attended and helped celebrate the birthday party of Denver Nuggets player Kenyon Martin at Shelter nightclub. 

This terrible incident resulted in an untimely end to a promising career for Williams, who had enjoyed several successful seasons with the Broncos and had so much to look forward to in the future.

The Denver Police Department confirmed that the nightclub shooting resulted from an altercation between Crips gang members and other customers. 

Moreover, a spokesman for the department noted that, according to witnesses, Williams had no involvement in the incident. However, some sources indicate Marshall as one of its instigators. 

Tragically, Williams’ life was taken when he suffered a single gunshot wound to the neck, collapsing into his Broncos teammate Javon Walker’s arms.

Shortly after, the coroner’s office declared him dead at 2:30 AM (09:30 GMT). While two other passengers were injured in this tragedy, they were discharged from the hospital without further medical concerns.


William’s killer and his gang, who peddled cocaine in Denver’s eastern neighborhood, became fixated on Brandon Marshall, who incited a heated argument at the entrance of a nightclub after being denied entry. 

Marshall soon found himself trying to mediate the dispute, which threatened to escalate. It was Marshall the gang had a problem with, not William; an unfortunate error that ultimately led to William’s death but spared Marshall’s life.

Later, 39 charges, including first-degree murder and first attempted murder, were brought against Willie Clerk, who was 25 years old and a long-term suspect in the case.

Four days after William’s murder, federal agents apprehended Clark on unrelated drug-related charges.

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