New details have emerged in the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith. An attorney for the family has Smith said that Cardell Hayes first shot Smith’s wife, Racquel Smith, twice in the legs and then turned his attention to the former NFL star. Hayes proceeded to fire six to eight shots into the back of Smith before standing over him and yelling at him as he lay dying right before him.
According to WWL TV, attorney Peter Thomson updated the media on the condition of Smith who was shot once in the right leg and suffered a fracture femur. She was also shot in the left leg by a bullet which ended up passing through her thigh.
The 28-year-old Hayes was arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office after the situation took place in the Garden District of New Orleans.
The confrontation took place on Magazine Street in New Orleans over the weekend, and began when Hayes’ Hummer stopped short in front of Smith. Smith was traveling in his Mercedes with his wife and another couple, and it was not believed they had struck the Hummer, according to Thomson.
“Afterward, the consensus in the car was that they didn’t hit the vehicle. Out of concern for the safety of his wife and the consensus in the car that we don’t know why this Hummer stopped… they continued around the Hummer and drove away.”
At that point, the Hummer came up behind them at a high rate of speed and slammed into Will Smith’s Mercedes SUV with such force that it shattered their windows. Smith got out of the vehicle to see why the person in the Hummer had struck his vehicle.
Hayes started coming at Smith while cursing and screaming. Smith’s wife, Racquel, and the other woman in the SUV got out to try and calm things down. It was believed that had been accomplished and all appeared to be returning to their vehicle, and Thomson said that was when Cardell Hayes took out his weapon.
“At this point, the killer follows them… suddenly two shots are fired. She is shot immediately in both legs and collapses. Right after the shooting of her, the killer unloads 6-8 shots into Will’s back.”
All gunshots were said to have entered Smith’s back. A lawfully-licensed gun was in Will Smith’s vehicle, and Thomson said it was never taken out of the car and never fired.
USA Today is reporting that Kevin O’Neal, a passenger in Cardell Hayes’ orange Hummer, said his friend saved his life. Tanzanika Ruffin, O’Neal’s attorney, said that Will Smith was going to shoot all those in the Hummer and what Hayes did is “justifiable homicide.”
“My client believes that Cardell saved his life. Smith had a gun and was going to shoot it and Cardell may have saved both of their lives.”
On Sunday, New Orleans police chief Michael S. Harrison did say that a passenger inside of Hayes’ Hummer had been detained and questioned by police. He was released shortly afterward. Police did not reveal the name of that person.
The NFL world has been turned upside-down in the past week due to the shooting death of Will Smith. Former teammates with the New Orleans Saints and friends of Smith’s have expressed their grief and anger on social media which has caused an uproar for better gun control. Cardell Hayes is still under investigation and police are continuing to work on figuring out exactly what happened.
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