Ex-NFL Star Will Smith Shot, Killed In Road Rage Incident; Shooter Is A 'Good Person,' Says CoachBy Mariel Hemingway, UniversityHerald Reporter
Former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was with his wife in New Orleans traffic when he was shot and killed after an argument. Smith was shot multiple times with a handgun and was dead on the spot. The NFL star's wife Racquel Smith was also shot twice in the leg during the scuffle and was promptly brought to the hospital.
They were driving in traffic when their Mercedes Benz SUV was hit at the back by a Hummer H2 which propelled and hit a Chevrolet Impala. NOLA.com reports that a spokesperson from the New Orleands Police Department said that Will Smith and the driver of the Hummer were in a heated conversation where the latter pulled out a handgun and shot the couple.
The shooter suspect, later identified as Cardell Hayes was taken in custody and charged with second-degree murder, according to Reuters. The gun used in the incident has been recovered. The police spokesperson added that the incident may be attributed to road rage but they are investigating if the two knew each other before the incident happened.
Cardell Hayes, 28, booked with 2nd-degree murder in the death of former Saints player Will Smith. pic.twitter.com/0Wbc49GWJi
— WWL-TV (@WWLTV) April 10, 2016
Incidentally, the shooter is also a football player who played for the New Orleans Crescent City Kinds. People who knew Cardell Hayes said that the suspect was a "good person" without a temper.
"A good football player, a good person," Hayes' coach, Fred Washington, told USA Today. "Never demonstrated a temper, not in my presence."
Another one of Hayes' coaches vouched the same things saying Hayes was a good student and team leader The shooter played defensive tackle in high school.
Washington shared his confusion about the incident as he heard that Hayes' victim was former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith. He adds that the victim was a "pillar" in the New Orleans community and has been doing good things outside of the sport.
"That's what's so shocking about this whole incident, is that we have two level-headed, at one time, two-level headed young men that were humble and peaceful," Washington explained.