The Louisiana man accused of fatally shooting former NFL star Joe McKnight was arrested on Monday and charged with manslaughter.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office website shows that Ronald Gasser, 54, was taken into custody on December 5 and bond has been set at $500,000.
His arrest is connected with the death of Joe McKnight, the onetime New York Jets running back who Gasser allegedly shot after an apparent road-rage incident.
McKnight was just 28.
Gasser had been released last week shortly after the incident pending a further investigation into the events surrounding McKnight’s death.
On Thursday, deputies who arrived on the scene said that Gasser handed over his gun and admitted to shooting McKnight.
Witnesses on the scene stated that the two men were seen in a heated argument before three shots were fired, killing McKnight.
Witnesses said that McKnight did not have a weapon, something that authorities later confirmed.
There were also reports that after Gasser had shot McKnight he stood over his body and shot him one more, saying: ‘I told you not to f*** with me.’
McKnight was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police took Gasser in at that time but released him the next morning. Louisiana is a ‘Stand Your Ground’ state.
A press conference was held to speak about the case on Tuesday morning.
Sheriff Newell Normand of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office made no comments about the actual event that led to the shooting of McKnight during his initial remarks, and instead loudly criticized those who called the shooting racially motivated, and who questioned his department’s decision to release Gasser that day after the incident.
‘This is not about race,’ said a defiant Normand, who banged on his podium multiple times while delivering his remarks, during which he fired off racial and homophobic slurs when describing the way his staff had been attacked by members of the public.
He also described what happened last Thursday as ‘two people engaged in bad behavior’ on multiple occasions during his remarks.
It was not until he opened the floor for questions that a reporter was finally able to ask him to provide the actual details of McKnight’s shooting.
Then, while taking questions, he began to reference black-on-black crime statistics, using these as an example of why public outcry about this white-on-black shooting is misguided.
‘Statistically, your fear is misdirected,’ said Normand said.
‘What we had were two adult males engaged in unacceptable behavior who did not understand how to deal with conflict resolution, and this thing went to a point that unfortunately led to incredibly tragic consequences over bad driving behavior and bad spoken words.’
DailyMail.com has established that both Gasser and his late father, Robert Gasser Sr, have a history of troubles on the road ranging from speeding tickets to illegally cutting across private property.
The most troubling parallel was revealed by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating McKnight’s death.
The sheriff said that it happened on February 20, 2006 on the Crescent City Connection bridge, which is where Gasser’s altercation a decade later with McKnight began.
At the time, John Shilling was 51 and working at the Rolls Royce Commercial Marine in New Orleans.
Speaking at his home in Marrero, Shilling said: ‘There was a number on the side of the vehicle if he was driving irate and crazy.
‘I said to myself I was going to call his boss. I called the number and he was the boss. I said hey we’ve got a guy in a red truck. He said: ‘I am the guy in the red truck!’
‘It didn’t bother me. I said you’re driving like a fool. He sees me on the phone and realises it’s me.
‘I pull off (the road) to get out the way, unlike the two of them (McKnight and Gasser). They stayed together.’
It was then when he went to a gas station that Shilling said Gasser hopped out of his car and began to spit at him and ‘swung at him a few times.’
Gasser then drove off but was later issued a misdemeanor summons for simple battery which was ultimately dismissed.