By Larry Fine
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said on Wednesday he was relieved that a group of his players emerged unharmed from a Manhattan night club where a man was fatally shot this week.
Victor Cruz and some team mates and friends were celebrating the wide receiver's 25th birthday when, according to a police report, gun shots killed one man and injured two others at 2:22 a.m. (0722 GMT) on Tuesday.
"The only one I heard about initially was Victor," Coughlin told reporters at the Giants' practice facility. "Thank God he was safe.
"I would speak to him as a parent would speak to their son. I don't know what happens good at 2:30, 3:00 in the morning. I've never been able to figure that one out. Beyond that, it's between he and I."
The Giants players were not involved in the shooting and Coughlin said no discipline was expected.
"He (Coughlin) told me try to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Be smart," said Cruz, who has become a favorite downfield target for quarterback Eli Manning. "It was definitely scary.
"I hit the floor and (it) was just a complete melee trying to get out of there. I didn't want to get trampled so I just waited five to seven minutes and we made our way out."
The incident occurred almost exactly three years since a night club shooting during the 2008 National Football League season involving Plaxico Burress, who was a wide receiver with the Giants at the time.
Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg at a Manhattan night club, leading to him serving 20 months in prison on a gun charge and disrupting the team's bid to return to return to the championship game.
Asked if he had a flashback to the Burress incident this week, Coughlin said curtly: "No."
Coughlin said Cruz was not breaking curfew rules since players had no official team activities until Wednesday.
A spokesman for Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty confirmed he was in the Cruz party, which was believed to include at least three other Giants players.
"I will talk to those guys, too," said Coughlin.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)