Emotions and sensitivities toward weapons ran high after the senseless shooting in an Aurora, CO movie theater early Friday morning which killed 12 and wounded 58. Yet, just 24 hours after the tragedy, Detroit Lions cornerback Aaron Berry was arrested after he reportedly aimed a handgun at three bystanders.
That was the last straw for the Detroit Lions, who released Berry on Monday, two days after his second arrest of the summer in his off-season home of Harrisburg, PA. He was expected to start this season, his third with the Lions. Training camp for the team's veterans begins Thursday in Allen Park, MI.
Berry was also arrested under suspicion of DUI in June after reportedly hitting two parked cars in his BMW and leaving the scene on foot.
“We have repeatedly stressed to everyone in our organization that there will be appropriate consequences when an expected standard of behavior is not upheld,” Lions president Tom Lewand said in a released statement.
The NFL Central team hasn't won a league championship since 1957, but they're currently leading all NFL teams in off-season arrests. Berry's alleged antics last weekend mark the seventh time a Detroit Lions player has had a run-in with the police since the season ended.
There were seven arrests of current Detroit Lions athletes from 2001-2011. Another seven arrests have occurred just since January.
Sportswriters have been calling for Berry's release since news of his second arrest was shared. Berry was reportedly in his car when he aimed his gun at bystanders in downtown Harrisburg. Police wouldn't say whether the handgun was registered.
"No one in their locker room would be surprised, and the timing would set an appropriate tone for the opening of training camp later this week," wrote ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert. "Otherwise, Berry's continued employment would be a tacit endorsement of his behavior and leave us to wonder what -- if anything -- would compel the Lions to fire a player other than poor performance on the field."
Wrote the Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski, "in sports, as in any business, your worth is partly defined by your expendability. The Lions don't have many good, seasoned cornerbacks and Berry was slated to start, but if his judgment is as bad as he's displayed the past month, he needs a big-time wake-up call."
See more photos of Detroit Lions players who have had run-ins with the law in 2012.
This photo from June 4, 2012 shows Detroit Lions football cornerback Aaron Berry (32) during NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich. Police in Harrisburg, Pa., say Berry faces DUI and other charges stemming from a weekend accident in his hometown. Authorities say the 24-year-old, who played college ball at the University of Pittsburgh, was arrested around 4 a.m. Saturday, June 23, 2012, after driving his vehicle into parked cars and attempting to flee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
In this May 29, 2012, file photo, Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure watches during NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich. Leshoure has been suspended for two games without pay and will have to give up two more game checks for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. The league announced the decision Wednesday, June 13, 2012 (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley stretches during team practice in Allen Park, Mich., Tuesday, May 29, 2012. Fairley has been arrested in Alabama on charges of driving under the influence and attempting to elude police Sunday, May 27, 2012, his second arrest in his home state in two months. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Johnny Culbreath, offensive tackle for the Lions, was arrested on a marijuana possession charge in South Carolina on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. DETROIT, MI - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Johnny Culbreath of the Detroit Lions poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Should high school athletes have to take mandatory drug tests?