Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith met a tragic end on Saturday when he was shot and killed in what appears to be a random road rage incident.
The shooting took place around 11:30 pm. Smith was driving with his wife, Racquel, in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District when his Mercedes G63 SUV was suddenly rear-ended by a Hummer H2.
It was reported that Smith and the other driver “exchanged words at which time the driver of the Hummer produced a handgun.” Smith, who was still inside his vehicle, was shot multiple times, and his wife was shot twice in the leg.
The former Saint was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith’s wife was transported to a local hospital and is expected to recover from her injuries.
The driver of the SUV, Cardell Hayes, 29, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on Sunday. His booking photo below.
The New Orleans Saints organization issued a statement on Sunday expressing their condolences.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Will and his wife Racquel, but more importantly with their children, William, Wynter and Lisa who are suffering and just starting to realize and deal with an unimaginable loss,” a statement from the Saints said. “We are devastated and saddened by Will’s tragic and preventable death due to a senseless act that will leave a lasting scar on our community forever.
Smith played a pivotal role in the Saints 2009 championship winning season, which saw them win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Here’s a news report on this story followed by two videos containing raw footage of the murder scene.
Road rage deaths due to gun violence are a major problem in the U.S. Here are a few sad facts of life related to how road rage intersects with American’s gun culture.
- 37% of the aggressive driving incidents that that take place involve at least one firearm.
- The person who is most susceptible to road rage is a male under the age of 19.
- 1 out of every two drivers who are the recipient of an aggressive behavior while they are behind the wheel will respond in kind.
- Over a seven-year study period, there were over 200 murders associated directly with road rage.
- More than 12,000 preventable injuries have occurred because of road rage incidents that have occurred.
- 2% of those who have someone driving around them in an aggressive manner have admitted to trying to run that car off of the road.
Here are a some reminders of what Hayes and the National Rifle Association’s culture of death destroyed on Saturday.
— Racquel Smith (@rockie91) April 1, 2013