According to police, former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, who helped the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 (the franchise’s only championship to date) was fatally shot after he was involved in a traffic collision with a Hummer H2 in New Orleans’s Lower Garden District on the evening of 9 April 2016. Police said the driver of the Hummer and Smith “exchanged words at which time the driver of the Hummer produced a handgun” and shot Smith “multiple times.” Smith’s wife was also shot twice and was transported to a local hospital.
New Orleans police report that Cardell Hayes, 28, has been arrested in the shooting and charged with second-degree murder, and that a gun was recovered from the scene.
Smith, 34, was drafted by the Saints in 2004 and spent all of his nine NFL seasons (2004-12) with New Orleans.
A statement issued on behalf of Smith’s family said they were “thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers.”
“I am shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “My thoughts and prayers are with Will’s family and those who loved him dearly. The senseless acts of violence have to stop. Traffic accidents should not lead to someone losing their life.”
Saints head coach Sean Payton and former Saints player Deuce McAllister also both termed Smith’s death “senseless.”