Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Video Appears to Show Moments before Smith's Death

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Video Appears to Show Moments before Smith's Death

Article excerpt

Newly released surveillance video footage from businesses in New Orleans' Lower Garden District shows what might have precipitated the shooting death of former Saints defensive end Will Smith.

Moments earlier, what appears to be his Mercedes SUV can be seen bumping the rear of a Hummer that stopped on busy Magazine Street. The Hummer then pulls over, but rather than stop to check for damage the Mercedes pulls around it and drives away.

Video taken moments later by a camera at a neighborhood bar shows what appears to be the Mercedes going by, followed closely by the Hummer driven by Cardell Hayes. Police say the Hummer then hit Smith's Mercedes from behind hard enough to push it into another car carrying Smith's acquaintances.

Smith and Hayes who played defense in a semi-pro football league then confronted each other and the shooting happened at an intersection just past the bar.

Witnesses heard a few angry words, quickly followed by gunfire. Smith died, slumped over the driver's seat. His wife, Racquel, was wounded in the leg.

"Detectives are in the process of reviewing that video and obtaining additional video to use as part of the investigation," a police statement said.

Police found a fully loaded gun inside the vehicle Smith was driving but there was no evidence that it had been fired, police said.

"Hayes was on the scene when officers arrived and identified himself as the shooter," the police statement said. "Detectives detained and questioned Hayes. Based on the interview and evidence gathered from the scene, detectives arrested Hayes."

A defense attorney for Hayes, John Fuller, insisted Monday that Hayes will be vindicated once the full story emerges.

Someone "besides my client" was behaving in a threatening manner, he said, though he wouldn't say who. "My client has been pilloried, convicted and tried" in the news and on social media, he added. …

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