Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was fatally shot during a suspected road rage incident in New Orleans Lower Garden District on April 9. Will’s wife, Racquel Smith, was also shot twice in the leg and rushed to the hospital. Click through for the details.
Super Bowl winner and former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, 34, was shot on the night of April 9 after arguing with the driver of a Hummer H2, Cardell Hayes, 28, who rear-ended his car, according to the New Orleans PD. Cardell allegedly shot Will six to eight times; he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The apparent road rage incident began when the Hummer hit Will’s Mercedes from behind at approximately 11:30pm, according to police; Will then collided with a Chevy in front of him. “The male victim and the driver of the Hummer exchanged words at which time the driver of the Hummer produced a handgun and shot the male victim multiple times,” read a statement from the New Orleans PD. The handgun was found on the scene.
Will’s wife, Racquel Smith, 34, was shot twice in her right leg and rushed to the hospital; she thankfully survived. Cardell was taken into police custody and booked at the Orleans Parish Prison at 8:00am on April 10 on charges of second-degree murder. Former Saints running back Pierre Thomas was on the scene shortly after the shooting; he was out that night with Will and Racquel.
The Smith family released a heartbreaking statement after the tragedy: “On behalf of the Smith family, we are 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.” We can’t imagine what they’re going through right now. The New Orleans Saints also confirmed Will’s death later that same night with a heartfelt statement via Twitter:
A senseless and tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Will Smith – his wife Racquel – his children William, Wynter and Lisa.
— Greg Bensel (@GregBensel) April 10, 2016
Will started his NFL career playing for Ohio State. He was selected 18th overall in the 2004 NFL draft, and went on to play nine seasons with the Saints; he was with the team when they won the Super Bowl in 2009. After being sidelined for the 2013 season with a knee injury, he was signed by the New England Patriots in 2014. He was released a year later. NFL players are taking to Twitter to mourn his death. Will left behind three children: Lisa Mya Smith, William J. Smith, and Wynter Chase Smith. May he rest in peace.
HollywoodLifers, our thoughts are with the Smith family during this difficult time.