Will Smith Killed: Former Saints Defensive End Reportedly Shot In New Orleans In Road Rage Incident Turned Violent

Will Smith was killed on Saturday in New Orleans, with police saying the former Saints defensive end was shot to death in a road rage incident turned violent.

Smith was killed in a shooting that also left his wife wounded, law enforcement sources told Nola.com.

The shooting took place just before 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of Sophie Wright and Felicity streets in the city’s Lower Garden District, the report noted.

The New Orleans Police Department released a statement saying the shooting came after a car accident that led to an argument between Smith and another driver.

“The 34-year-old male victim’s vehicle was traveling eastbound on Sophie Wright Place when his vehicle was hit in the rear by a Hummer H2,” police said. “The collision caused the victim’s Mercedes G63 SUV to strike the rear of a Chevrolet Impala who was traveling along with the victim. 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 and his 34-year-old wife in the leg. The male victim was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Police added that the suspect, a 30-year-old man, was taken into custody at the scene. He has not yet been identified.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene, with one telling Nola.com that she heard six to eight gunshot. Will Smith was later found slumped over the steering wheel of his SUV.

Smith had tweeted earlier in the day that he was in New Orleans for French Quarter Fest, and he even shared a picture in the city just hours before his death.

Former New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas, a teammate and longtime friend of Smith, was also on the scene after Smith’s murder and reportedly distraught.

A standout defensive lineman at Ohio State, Will Smith was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Within two years he was recognized as one of the league’s best defensive ends, making the Pro Bowl in 2006 and later helping lead his team to the Super Bowl.

As news of the shooting death of Will Smith spread late Saturday and in the early morning hours on Sunday, many former teammates and players from around the NFL shared their shock and condolences for the Smith family.

Though he was born in Upstate New York, Will Smith was intricately tied to New Orleans and emerged as a leader on the field as well as an important figure for the city itself as it rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina. He was active in charitable causes, including organizing his own Santa with the Smiths event, an annual holiday party benefiting Kingsley House.

Police have not yet named a suspect in the shooting death of Will Smith.

[Image via Chris Graythen/Getty Images]

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