Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot and killed following an argument apparently brought about by road rage in a fender bender in New Orleans on Saturday, April 9. He was 34.
The footballer’s wife, Racquel Smith, was also shot in the leg and was hospitalized shortly afterward. According to NOLA.com, Smith and his wife were driving eastbound when their Mercedes Benz SUV was rear-ended by a Hummer H2, which then caused their car to hit a Chevrolet Impala traveling along the same street.
A spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department told NOLA.com that Smith and the Hummer driver “exchanged words, at which time the driver of the Hummer produced a handgun and shot the male victim (Smith) multiple times and his 34-year-old wife twice in the right leg.”
Smith, who played for the Saints for nine seasons, was pronounced dead on the scene, and his wife was immediately transported to a hospital.
The 30-year-old driver of the Hummer remained at the scene, and is currently in custody and being interviewed by investigators. The gun used in the shooting has also been recovered.
“It appears that it could possibly have been road rage,” the spokesperson added.
Saints coach Sean Payton took to Twitter to express his condolences to the longtime NFL athlete.
“Heavy Hearts w the senseless passing of our Team Capt. Will Smith,” he wrote. “Pray for his wife’s recovery and their children.”
Smith’s family also issued a statement on Sunday morning, expressing their gratitude for the outpouring of love and thoughts they had received.
“On behalf of the Smith family, we are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers, the statement reads. "We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy as they give the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend."
In the hours prior to the tragedy, Smith had posted a cute black-and-white picture of himself with Raquel.
“Having a blast at the #fqf2016,” he captioned the shot.
The couple share three young children together, two sons and a daughter, ages unknown.
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