Sharpstein said Taylor, his girlfriend and Taylor's 18-month-old daughter were in the bedroom of Taylor's home when Taylor heard noises in the living room.
Sharpstein said Taylor went to investigate and was carrying a machete that he keeps in the bedroom. The intruder kicked in the door and then shot twice, hitting Taylor once in the leg, the attorney said. Taylor lost a significant amount of blood because the bullet hit his femoral artery, Sharpstein said.
Miami-Dade police went to Taylor's home at 18050 Old Cutler Road in Palmetto Bay after receiving a call from a woman around 1:30 a.m. Investigators later identified the woman as Taylor's girlfriend, Jackie Garcia. Garcia is the niece of actor Andy Garcia and the mother of Taylor's daughter, also named Jackie.
Monday's break-in was at least the second for Taylor in less than two weeks. Taylor's home was ransacked and items were stolen on Nov. 17, Sharpstein said.
Taylor had closed the storm shutters on his home after the earlier break-in. During that entry, someone made his or her way through a front window, according to a police report. The house was ransacked and there was damage to an air conditioning duct in the bathroom, where someone may have believed there was something hidden, Berky reported. A kitchen knife was left on the bed, according to the police report, but it wasn't until after Taylor was killed that police began to analyze evidence collected from the first break-in, Berky reported.
"We have no reason to think that this was anything but a burglary or a robbery involving an intruder," said Parker.
He also said police are looking for more than one person and hoped an arrest would be made "shortly, in short order."
Meanwhile, Junor said she was thankful of Taylor and Garcia for her "beautiful granddaughter, and I want to enjoy her for the time."
"Whoever took him doesn't understand what they took from us," said Taylor's cousin, Nicole Matthews.
Taylor played football at the University of Miami, where he was a member of the 2001 national championship team as a freshman. In his final season with the Hurricanes in 2003, Taylor was a consensus first-team All-American and named Big East Conference defensive player of the year. He was also a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's best defensive back.
He left school early and became the first UM player selected in the 2004 NFL draft when the Redskins picked him fifth overall.
Last June, Taylor agreed to a plea bargain in court on charges that he brandished a weapon at people he suspected had stolen some all-terrain vehicles from his South Florida home. Taylor agreed to 18 months of probation.
Taylor was in his fourth season with the Redskins. He led the team with five interceptions but missed the last two games with a knee injury. The 212-pound safety played in his first Pro Bowl in 2006.