In a tragic and horrific story out of New Orleans on Thursday afternoon, former NFL running back Joe McKnight was shot and killed in Louisiana. The murder happened during a road rage incident in which McKnight was killed by a 54-year-old man named Ronald Gasser.
McKnight was just 28-years-old.
Rest in peace, Joe McKnight.
Our thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/vtEihPomt9
— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 1, 2016
According to the Times Picayune, the shooting happened in Terrytown, a suburb of New Orleans, where the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office originally said one man was left dead at an intersection. Family members at the scene soon identified the victim as Joe McKnight, who went to John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, Louisiana.
He went on to play college football at USC and was selected in the 2010 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. After a couple of seasons with the Jets, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs before going to the Canadian Football League to play for the Edmonton Eskimos and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
RIP my brother Joe McKnight this one hurts bad
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) December 1, 2016
TMZ is reporting that a witness said she saw McKnight get out of his car and try to apologize to another man (Gasser) after a traffic incident of some kind. It was then that Gasser pulled out a gun and shot McKnight in the street.
As McKnight fell to the ground, the witness says that Gasser then stood over him, screamed, “I told you not to f*** with me,” and then shot McKnight again. Police have detained the man they believe to be the shooter.
Joe McKnight did not have a gun on him at the time of the accident or the shooting. Police and emergency responders on the scene performed CPR on McKnight in hopes to resuscitate him and save his life, but it did not work.
The witness said that Joe McKnight was trying to apologize to the man for whatever may have happened in the traffic incident, but the alleged shooter wasn’t listening. It isn’t known at this time if the two men knew one another.
As soon as word of McKnight’s death got out, numerous players in the world of football began tweeting out their feelings and reactions. Many players tweeted out about the loss of their friend and a number of teams and organizations also sent out their condolences.
Wow…. this hurts man! My favorite RB growing up is gone. RIP Joe McKnight???? pic.twitter.com/Qr9dSjQifz
— Aaron Green (@AaronGreen22) December 1, 2016
— Calgary Stampeders (@calstampeders) December 1, 2016
RIP Joe McKnight???????????????????????? Another senseless killing. Another hashtag smh
— Maurice Jones-Drew (@Jones_Drew32) December 1, 2016
— Mark Ingram II (@MarkIngram22) December 1, 2016
RIP to former Trojan and NY Jet, Joe McKnight. Man this s— has got to STOP
— Keyshawn Johnson (@keyshawn) December 1, 2016
Joe McKnight ended his NFL career with 505 rushing yards, 241 receiving yards, 2,270 kick return yards, and four total touchdowns. He had been doing well in the CFL and it was expected that he would return next year.
McKnight’s death comes after former New Orleans Saints’ defensive end Will Smith was also recently murdered. Smith was shot and killed after a minor car accident in New Orleans which led to an argument in the street.
Will Smith’s road rage murder happened less than 10 miles away from where Joe McKnight’s murder took place.
The horrific loss of former NFL running back Joe McKnight is one that is only a few hours old, but it’s one that has absolutely rocked the sports world. His shooting death in New Orleans is one that puts a far-too-early end to a young life that had so much promise and still so much left to give in football and elsewhere.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]