( 4UMF NEWS ) Will Smith Dead:
Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was killed in a shooting spurred by an apparent road rage incident late Saturday. Orleans Parish Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse confirmed Smith’s identity early Sunday morning.
Smith’s wife Racquel also was shot twice in the right leg, police said, and was treated at University Medical Center.
The shooting happened about 11:30 p.m. after a three-car accident near Sophie Wright Place and Felicity Street in the Lower Garden District, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Juan Barnes said.
New Orleans police booked 28-year-old Cardell Hayes with second-degree murder on Sunday morning. His bond was set at $1 million.
Hayes pleaded guilty in 2014 as a first-time offender to illegal carrying of a weapon as well as possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to six months probation.
Smith, 34, and the driver of the Hummer “exchanged words” before the driver of the Hummer pulled out a gun and shot Smith multiple times, police said.
Smith died on the scene.
Police recovered the gun used in the shooting, Barnes said.
“We are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers,” said a statement released Sunday morning on behalf of Smith’s family. “We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend.”
Police said Sunday they had no evidence Hayes and Smith knew each other prior to the accident, but they were still investigating the motive behind the shooting.
Smith had 67.5 sacks, the fourth highest total in Saints history, in 10 years with the organization. He was a starter on the Super Bowl XLIV championship team, helping bring the franchise its only title. He also won a national championship at Ohio State and was the No. 18 overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft.
Smith did not play in another NFL game after tearing a knee ligament in an exhibition in 2013.
In addition to his wife, Smith leaves behind two sons and a daughter.