NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The New Orleans Saints say the entire organization is deeply saddened by the death of former defensive end Will Smith. Executive Vice President and General Manager Mickey Loomis says Smith was “an important contributor to numerous charitable causes” and a “cornerstone” of the team that won the Super Bowl in 2009.
Smith was shot dead last night in an apparent road-rage incident in New Orleans.
Coroner Jeffrey C. Rouse said in an emailed statement that Smith died of “multiple gunshot wounds” after a traffic accident in the city’s Lower Garden District.
Smith’s wife was shot in the leg and taken to a hospital.
Police have arrested 28-year-old Cardell Hayes on a charge of second-degree murder. A police spokesman says Hayes was the driver of a Humvee H2 that rear-ended Smith’s Mercedes G63. A passenger in Hayes’ vehicle was questioned and released.
Online court records show Hayes pleaded guilty in 2014 to one count each of possessing an illegal weapon and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Court papers also show that Hayes sued city police after they shot and killed his father on Dec. 26, 2005. The city settled the federal lawsuit in September 2011, while attorneys were preparing for trial in the case.
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