Ex-NFL star Joe McKnight was allegedly shot dead by a 54-year-old white man following a road rage incident in New Orleans.
McKnight, who played for the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs, was killed on Thursday afternoon in Terrytown after an argument at an intersection.
Medical emergency staff gave the 28-year-old CPR on the street but he was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering multiple gun shot wounds, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office told Dailymail.com.
Ronald Gasser, 54, who is white, was taken into custody after the shooting.
He is currently being questioned by homicide detectives. Police said Gasser never left the scene of the shooting and turned his gun into authorities.
Gasser was pictured sitting by his car as medical staff attempted to revive McKnight.
A witness at the scene told Nola.com that she saw a man yelling at another man, believed to be McKnight, at an intersection who was trying to apologize.
She said the man yelling fired his gun multiple times and stood over him saying: ’I told you don’t you f*** with me.’
Multiple other witnesses say they saw the driver of the Infiniti sedan pull McKnight from his Audi before allegedly shooting him, Fox 8 reports.
McKnight was not armed at the time, according to police.
Gasser’s family said they were shocked by the incident and were struggling to understand.
‘I’m speechless at the moment,’ his daughter Candice Gasser-Bua said.
The alleged shooter’s sister, Sharon Weileman, said: ‘He’s the best guy, the most generous guy. I have no idea what happened. I can’t even talk right now.’
Gasser ran his own own telecommunications business, lived alone in his house and was rarely seen by his neighbors.
Neighbors said he moved into the house 15 years ago to live with his father, but he died last year.
McKnight played football for John Curtis High School and the University of Southern California. The running back was drafted by the New York Jets in 2010 and the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014.
His stepfather, Elmo Lee, said McKnight was about to be signed by the Minnesota Vikings.
‘I just want people to know that this was not a troubled kid. The boy was just trying to make it back in the NFL, that’s all he wanted to do,’ he said.
‘That was his whole dream since six years old. I’ve been knowing him from six, and this is just senseless, and it has to stop. Somewhere it has to stop.’
McKnight had just finished a season playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.
The head coach Chris Jones released a statement saying: ‘We are shocked to hear the news of Joe’s sudden passing. We send our deepest sympathies to Joe’s family, friends, and all those impacted by this tragedy.’
Fans and former teammates posted tributes on social media following news of his shock death.
The New York Jets tweeted: ‘Rest in peace, Joe McKnight. Our thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones’.
NFL veteran Antonio Cromartie said: ‘Just got a message saying my former teammate Joe McKnight was killed today. This hurt to the heart. I can’t stop crying. #RestInPeace.’
Journalist Eric Allen tweeted: ‘Back in 2011, we asked #JoeMcKnight who his best friend on the #Jets was and he said, ‘Everybody’s my best friend.’ That was Joe.’
McKnight’s death comes just months after retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith was also shot dead in New Orleans.
The 34-year-old was fatally shot in the back and side after exchanging words with the driver of a Hummer H2 that rear-ended his Mercedes G63 SUV in April.
Smith’s wife was shot twice in the right leg.
Cardell ‘Bear’ Hayes – a 28-year-old former security guard for the Saints – was arrested and charged with second-degree murder over Smith’s death.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said this week that gun violence in the city was ‘out of control’ after a mass shooting left nine injured and one dead on the famous Bourbon Street on Sunday morning.
Ten people aged between 20 and 37 – eight men and two women – were shot after gunfire broke out. One male victim died.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu described the shocking scene as ‘totally unacceptable.’
‘The violence continues to spin out of control with people brandishing weapons whenever they think they can,’ he told WDSU.
‘It’s really unfortunate.’
Two people were arrested on gun charges after the deadly fracas – one of whom was also injured in the gunplay.