Former New Orleans Saints Footballer Will Smith Shot Dead

Former NFL athlete Will Smith was killed and his wife injured by a gunman who shot the retired football player several times after ramming into his car in New Orleans, police and a local media report said on Sunday.

Suspected shooter Cardell Hayes, 30, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, the New Orleans Police Department said in a Tweet.

Smith, 34, a retired defensive end with the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints, was traveling in a Mercedes in the city’s Lower Garden District shortly before 11:30 p.m. on Saturday when his car was rear-ended by a Hummer.

Smith exchanged words with the driver of the Hummer, who took out a handgun and shot him several times, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Juan Barnes said in a statement.

Smith played American football for the Saints for a decade, including in the team that won the Super Bowl in February 2010. His professional football career ended in 2014.

During the Saturday night incident, a 33-year-old woman who was with Smith was shot in the legs and taken to the hospital, the statement said. The Times-Picayune newspaper identified the woman as Smith’s wife, but did not name her.

Police said the shooter stayed on the scene after the incident and that they recovered the weapon used.

Smith’s family posted a brief statement on his Facebook page expressing thanks for the outpouring of support and asking for respect for their privacy.

Smith had three children and was married to Racquel Smith, according to the ex-player’s official website.


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