Texans WR Tank Dell opens up for first time about being shot: 'Wrong place, wrong time'

Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell opened up on Sunday for the first time since he was shot in the leg at a Florida bar.

Dell, who avoided life-threatening injuries in the mass shooting, spoke about the incident while joining quarterback C.J. Stroud on the "Million Dollaz Worth of Game" podcast. He described the situation as "wrong place, wrong time."

"First off, I'm blessed," Dell said. "To me, it was just wrong place, wrong time. I went back to see my mom. I wasn’t even planning to go back and go to the little pool party or whatever, but my boys found out I was home, so they hit me up.

"They was like, 'Pull up to the party.' They told me there was going to be security, people getting checked at the door, stuff like that, so I'm like, all right, cool. It's a good vibe, and there were a lot of people that I knew in there, so it was cool. Then that s*** just popped off out of nowhere. It just went south out of nowhere."

Dell, who was an innocent bystander, was one of 10 people shot at a pool party at the the Cabana Live bar in the Orlando suburb of Sanford. Dell was in Florida visiting his nearby home town of Daytona Beach. Surveillance video of the shooting shows a fist fight break out and escalate into gunfire at the poolside bar on April 28. A reported crowd of roughly 200 people that included Dell scrambled after the shots were fired.

Ten people were shot, including Dell. According to authorities on the scene, none of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries. Dell was identified on the video as standing in the crossfire when the violence suddenly escalated. He was shot in one of his legs and reportedly sustained a flesh wound.

"I thought I removed myself from the situation, like when you see on the video when I ran across." Dell continued. "But I put myself in the middle of two people. It just went crazy."

Tank Dell described his shooting as a case of
Tank Dell described his shooting as a case of "wrong place, wrong time." (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office told local media that a 16-year-old was arrested as the suspected shooter. He faces charges of attempted homicide, discharging a firearm on public property, display and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a minor.

Texans team owner Cal McNair told reporters at a May 6 charity event that Dell was expected to "make a full recovery" in time for his second NFL season. His prognosis for Week 1 and early in the season wasn't clear.

Stroud was sitting next to Dell during the podcast interview. He described the moment he got a text message from the Texans letting him know that Dell was shot.

"All I read was Tank got shot, and I dropped my phone. I started tearing up, man," Stroud said. "When you hear that, you think of the worst. First thing I did, I just said a prayer."

Stroud said that the incident would change how he handles himself in public moving forward following a breakout rookie season with the Texans that earned him Rookie of the Year honors.

"It was a good moment for me to realize, like, I can’t go home and do the same things I was doing, too," Stroud continued. "'Cause sometimes when I go home, that’s where I’m comfortable at — going to the pool parties, going to the bowling alleys or, like, the skating rinks or to the house parties.

"This is the people I grew up with. I ain't changed. Just because I got a little bit of money. For that moment to happen that quick, it was an eye-opening experience."

Dell had his own breakout rookie campaign as one of Stroud's favorite receivers in 2023, catching 47 passes for 739 yards with seven touchdowns. He's been a participant running drills at Texans OTAs just weeks after getting shot.

Stroud and Dell are centerpieces of a bright future in Houston as the Texans look to build on a 2023 playoff appearance that produced a wild-card win over the Cleveland Browns.