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New Orleans Saints former defensive end Will Smith is killed and his wife injured in road rage attack after driver rear-ended him then gunned him down during an altercation over the accident

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Ex-Saints defensive end Will Smith, murdered,  wife injured in road rage attack by Cardell Hayes

Smith was rear-ended by the driver of a Hummer, which caused Smith’s Mercedes Benz SUV to hit the car in front of him
The football player got out of his car and confronted the other driver
Cardell Hayes, the 28-year-old Hummer driver, then allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Smith to death
Smith was discovered by police slumped over the steering wheel of his car
His wife was transported to a nearby hospital for two gunshots to the leg
Hayes previously, has pleaded guilty to charges of illegal possesion of firearms and drug paraphenalia, has been booked into jail on second degree murder charges  


Former New Orleans Sains defensive end Will Smith,  was shot and killed in a road rage incident last night after getting in a fender bender with two other cars. His former team, the New Orleans Saints are reeling today after the team’s former defensive end Will Smith was killed in a road rage incident last night.
Smith, 34, a 2009 Super Bowl winner, was on his way home from dinner when he was rear-ended by 28-year-old Cardell Hayes, who was driving an H2 Hummer, according to the Advocate.

3307beab00000578-0-image-m-3_1460294769627Will Smith, (left), killed in a road rage incident last night after getting in a fender bender with two other cars

The impact, which happened around 11.30pm Saturday night, caused Smith’s $115,400 Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV to rear-end the Chevy Impala in front of him, driven by his friend, according to CBS News.
Smith then walked over to confront Hayes and the two men exchanged words, reported.
It is unclear when Smith walked back to his car after confronting the 28-year-old, but Hayes allegedly pulled out a handgun and unleashed a barrage of bullets at Smith and his wife, Racquel R. Joseph Smith.
‘The driver of the Hummer shot Smith multiple times and his 34-year-old wife twice in the right leg,’ NOPD spokesman Juan Barnes said in a statement. Hayes was booked into jail on second degree murder charges around 9.15am this morning, his arrest report shows. Hayes only has one other arrest on his record. He was charged with illegal carrying of a weapon, illegal possession of codeine and possession of drug paraphernalia, among other charges, in 2010, according to He pleaded guilty in June 2012 to the weapons charge and possession of codeine.
He withdrew his guilty plea the following month and in June 2013 rejected a plea offer from prosecutors. In January 2014 he pleaded guilty to a reduced weapons charge and to a count of possession of drug paraphernalia and was given a suspended six-month sentence, records show.

3309984700000578-3532521-image-a-72_1460308248966Racquel (pictured, center) was taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital for the two gunshot wounds to her right leg
3309a72100000578-3532521-image-a-70_1460308239211Cardell ‘Bear’ Hayes, who has been arrested on second degree murder charges in connection with the shooting, posted a photo to his Facebook with a man he says is Wyatt Russell – son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn – when he was an extra in the film 22 Jump Street


Cardell Hayes, 28, (pictured) has been booked on second degree murder charges for allegedly shooting Smith during the road rage incident33078a6000000578-0-image-a-4_1460294781700

Hayes rear-ended Smith’s Mercedes Benz SUV, which caused the former football player to rear end a Chevrolet Impala being driven by a friend of his330789b200000578-0-image-a-5_1460294783625

Smith exited his vehicle and confronted Hayes, who then pulled out a hand gun and unleashed a wave of bullets on Smith and his wife

  Hayes (left) waited at the scene where he allegedly shot Smith (right) until police arrived to arrest and charge him3308389700000578-3532521-image-a-61_1460299578052

Hayes has previously pleaded guilty to illegally carrying of a weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia3308385000000578-3532521-image-a-62_1460299634905

He spent six months in jail for the charge, which was his first offense ever, in 2014. He is currently in holding with no bond amount set


Just hours before his death, Smith posted this image of himself and wife Racquel to Instagram saying they were ‘having a blast’ at New Orleans’ French Quarter Festival


Will Smith began his football career at Ohio State where he won a national championship. He was drafted to the Saints in 2004 as the 18th pick in the 1st round.
He had a fantastic rookie year and gradually established himself as one of the premier defensive ends in the NFL.
Smith worked his way to become one of the top defenders in the Saints’ franchise history. No Saint has had more than his 67.5 sacks, which ranks fourth in club record books (since 1982, when sacks were first recognized), since Smith joined the team.  He led New Orleans’ quarterback takedowns in four seasons, as the first Saint to top the team in sacks three years in a row (2005-07) since La’Roi Glover from 1998-2000.
Smith appeared in 139 games with 120 starts and has recorded 608 tackles, caused 19 fumbles and recovered seven.  He was a five-time defensive captain, sets the tone for the entire unit with his rugged play and intensity.  Though often double-teamed, he notched 67 stops (39 solo) last season, posting six sacks, one pass defense and one fumble recovery, according to the Saints website.  He was a driving force behind the team’s 2009 Super Bowl win.

Source: New Orleans Saints

He withdrew his guilty plea the following month and in June 2013 rejected a plea offer from prosecutors. In January 2014 he pleaded guilty to a reduced weapons charge and to a count of possession of drug paraphernalia and was given a suspended six-month sentence, records show.
Hayes is currently being held at BKG Booking in New Orleans and has not been given bond. Smith died slumped behind the wheel of his car but his wife, who was shot in the leg twice, according to NBC Sports, was transported to a nearby hospital and is expected to recover. Smith and Racquel R. Joseph Smith, 33, have three children together.
Instagram posts from Racquel show the family, two sons and a daughter, beaming smiles lounging on the couch and posing for holiday card pictures.   
Hayes stayed at the crime scene until police arrived, the New York Daily News reported.
A witness at the scene, Janis Baehr, a tourist in town for the French Quarter Festival, said she was walking near the intersection and heard six to eight gunshots, reported.
Smith’s bullet-ridden vehicle was towed away shortly after the shooting by police. Just hours before his death Smith posted on Instagram that he and Racquel were ‘having a blast’ at the city’s French Quarter Festival. NBC New Orleans Sports anchor Fletcher Mackel posted an image of Washington Redskins running back Pierre Thomas with Smith and former New Orleans Police Department commander Billy Ceravolo. Thomas was on scene when Smith died and was seen looking distraught over his friend’s death.

Smith leaves behind three young children, Lisa (center) and Wynter (left) with his wife Racquel, and another child from a previous marriage (right). Instagram pictures show the happy family on outings and lounging around the house


 Sports anchor Fletcher Mackel posted this photo of Smith,  taken an hour before his death, with Pierre Thomas (center) and former New Orleans Police Department commander Billy Ceravolo (left)

The photo, allegedly taken an hour before Smith’s death, showed Thomas wearing the same shirt as he was when photographed at the scene of Smith’s murder. Smith played defensive end for the New Orleans Saints for 10 years. He was drafted in 2004 and left in 2014 to spend one year with the New England Patriots. According to SportsRac, his final contact with the Patriots paid him $870,000 for the year. The site estimates he earned roughly $53.5 million during his career in the NFL.

3307cec600000578-3532521-image-a-25_1460296655639Racquel (right) was shot in the leg twice during the attack. She has been transported to a nearby hospital and is expected to recover
33097bf300000578-3532521-image-a-73_1460308276488Former New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas was distraught at the scene of the murder and had just come from dinner with Smith prior to the incident
Family man: A statement released on behalf of the family called Smith a ‘devoted husband, father and friend’


New Orleans Saints spokesman Greg Bensel wrote on social media that the death of the player was a ‘senseless and tragic loss’. ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with Will Smith — his wife Racquel — his children William, Wynter and Lisa,’ Bensel wrote in a tweet.
Friends of the star athlete, who was instrumental in the Saints 2009 Super Bowl win, have tweeted out their heartbreak over losing Smith.
‘Sick to my stomach! This one hurts,’ San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush said.
‘Devastated. Lord please be with the Smith family at this tragic time. Nonsense man…’ said Saints running back Mark Ingram II.reggie_bush1


As the news of Smith’s death broke, celebrities, football stars and fans tweeted out their heartbreaking sadness due to the athlete’s death






New Orleans native, singer and actor Harry Connick, Jr tweeted: ‘Praying for the wife and family of @Saints will smith… RIP.’
A statement released on behalf of the Smith family called the football star a ‘devoted husband, father and friend’.
‘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,’ the statement read.
Smith played at Ohio State and played nine seasons with the Saints after being selected 18th overall in the 2004 NFL draft, NBC News reported. He was sidelined for the 2013 season with a knee injury then signed by the New England Patriots in 2014. The Patriots released Smith later that year.

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