Arrest made in slaying of former NFL standout Will Smith

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 6:45 PM

An emailed statement from New Orleans city coroner Jeffrey C. Rouse said that Smith died “of multiple gunshot wounds” after a traffic accident in the city’s Lower Garden District.

Arrest made in slaying of former NFL standout Will Smith

Former was shot and killed Saturday in what appeared to be a road rage incident that's shocked fans of the much-beloved athlete.

An emailed statement from New Orleans city coroner Jeffrey C. Rouse said that Smith died “of multiple gunshot wounds” after a traffic accident in the city’s Lower Garden District. The former defensive finish was thirty-four years old.

New Orleans Police Dept spokesman Tyler Gamble on Sun identified the suspect as Cardell Hayes, twenty-nine. Gamble said the investigation was ongoing but didn't release further details. Online Ct records indicate Hayes pleaded guilty in two thousand-fourteenth to one count each of possessing an illegal weapon and possessing drug paraphernalia.

A tweet from the verified account of Greg Bensel, Saints vice president of communications and broadcasting, expressed condolences to Smith’s family.

The Smith family released a statement through a public relations firm.

“On behalf of the Smith family, we're thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers. We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend,” the statement read.

Smith appeared to be the victim of a road rage accident.

The former defensive finish was driving in a Mercedes late Saturday through an upscale portion of the city called the Lower Garden District when his vehicle was hit from behind by another vehicle, an orange Hummer H2, police said.

That caused Smith’s vehicle to hit a grey Chevrolet Impala in front of him. Two acquaintances of Smith’s were in the Impala but not injured.

At some point in the ensuing incident, Smith and Hayes – the driver of the Hummer – exchanged words, police said. That’s when police declare Hayes pulled out a gun and shot Smith multiple times.

Smith’s wife, who was traveling with him, was shot in the leg. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Police said Smith died at the scene.

Police said they recovered the weapon and took Hayes into custody.

Smith’s death shocked football fans across the Crescent City, where the former finish was a loved and respected figure both on and off the field.

Smith, a native of Queens, New York, played for OH State’s two thousand two national championship team and was a first-round draft choice by New Orleans in two thousand-fourth.

He led the Saints with a career-high thirteen sacks in two thousand-ninth, when the club won its only Super Bowl. Smith’s career sack total ranks fourth in Saints history. He had four hundred fifty-seven career tackles, twenty forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

He latest played in an NFL regular season game in two thousand-twelfth, finishing his career with sixty-seven one/two sacks.

During the two thousand thirteen preseason, a knee injury forced him onto injured reserve. He was signed in the two thousand fourteen offseason by New England but didn't create the Patriots’ regular season roster.

Smith was defensive Capt for much of his career, but it was also that leadership role that landed him at the middle of the NFL’s bounty probe in two thousand-twelfth. The league concluded that Smith and fellow defensive Capt Jonathan Vilma helped running a locker-room pool that paid cash bonuses for heavy and even injurious hits.

Smith was initially suspended four games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but Smith and three other implicated players successfully appealed their suspensions and were never compelled to miss games, even as Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended the entire two thousand twelve season.

A year earlier, however, Smith did have to serve a two-game suspension that stemmed from findings back in two thousand-eighth that he and several other NFL players had used a weight-loss product called StarCaps, which contained a diuretic that'd been banned by the league because it was known to mask steroid use. That suspension was enforced after valid challenges the spanned several seasons.

Off the field, Smith took an active role in trying to make better the lives of children in New Orleans. He established a foundation called, Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way, in two thousand-seventh. Its stated mission is “to motivate, educate and allow opportunities for women and children.”

After football, he settled in Louisiana, his wife’s native state. His shooting came during the weekend of the French Quarter festival, a favorite festival featuring local music and food.

Smith leaves behind his wife, Racquel, and three children.

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