Former NFL running back Joe McKnight was shot and killed Thursday, Dec. 1 in an apparent road-rage incident. The altercation happened at an intersection in suburban New Orleans and resulted in McKnight being shot multiple times. EMT personnel tried unsuccessfully to revive the former New York Jet with CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The suspected shooter, a 54-year-old white man named Ronald Gasser, shot McKnight multiple times, killing the 28-year-old. Authorities said McKnight, who was drafted by the New York Jets in 2010, was not carrying any weapons.
Officials have not released any details of the shooting, which happened at 2:43 p.m. in Terrytown, a suburb of New Orleans, however, an unnamed witness provided an account of the violent altercation to The Times-Picayune.
The witness said the driver of a blue Infiniti sedan — later identified as Gasser — was seen yelling at McKnight, who appeared to be apologizing. The two were standing in the middle of a bustling intersection.
The witness said Gasser shot McKnight more than one time, then stood over him as he lay there bleeding and yelled, “I told you don’t you [expletive] with me,” before firing the final gunshot. Gasser stayed at the scene until police arrived, turning his gun over to them.
The New Orleans Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department told TMZ Sports that Gasser was questioned and then released “sometime overnight,” after they did not find a reason to keep him in custody. Additionally, the sheriff’s department told TMZ that, while they are sure Gasser shot and killed McKnight, they have “questions about the circumstances surrounding what led up to it.”
According to the Daily News, investigators are to meet Friday, Dec. 2, with the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office in order to “discuss what, if any, charges will be brought against Mr. Gasser,” said Colonel John Fortunato, from the parish’s sheriff’s office.
“There’s no timeline for when this has to be done,” Fortunato told The Daily News. “We want to get it right.”
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand defended his decision to release Gasser in a press conference,
“The easiest thing for me would have been, ‘Book ‘em, Danno,’” he added. “But the fact of the matter is in trying to flesh out these details … we chose not to do that.”
McKnight’s former Jets teammate Antonio Cromartie was not convinced.
He tweeted, “I don’t get it. How in hell do you release someone who killed my brother, my friend a father a son a brother without charging him. Bull Crap.”