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NFL star Will Smith’s shooting linked to police officer involved in death of suspect’s father

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Authorities in New Orleans are looking into whether there may have been another motive behind the shooting death of former Saints player Will Smith– which at first appeared to be just a road rage incident.

Smith was shot and killed after police say Cardell Hayes got out of his Hummer SUV and “exchanged words” with the former defensive end before shooting him multiple times.

This Sunday, April 10, 2016 photo provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office shows Cardell Hayes. Police say Hayes has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, who was shot and killed Saturday night. (Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office via AP)
This Sunday, April 10, 2016 photo provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office shows Cardell Hayes. Police say Hayes has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, who was shot and killed Saturday night. (Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Hayes rear-ended Smith’s silver Mercedes at a five-point intersection in the city’s Lower Garden District neighborhood Saturday night.

Smith’s wife was also in the car and was shot in the leg.

Police are looking into whether the relationship between Smith and a former NO police officer -whom he had dinner with hours before the murder -had anything to do with this.

Billy Ceravolo was involved in the 2005 shooting death of Hayes’ father. A lawsuit that Hayes filed claims that Ceravolo and several other officers used excessive force after his father lunged at them with a knife.

NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said Sunday that “while police were still investigating, they had not uncovered any connection between the 2005 shooting and Smith’s death. He said they had no evidence that Smith’s killing was “anything more than an accident that turned into a dispute which turned violent,” according to the New Orleans Advocate.

So many messages flooded social media late in the weekend after news spread about the 2010 Super Bowl champ’s death. Smith’s former teammate Reggie Bush wrote: “You were a great man and did so much good for so many people in New Orleans… you will be greatly missed.”

Hayes is being charged with second degree murder and remains behind bars.

 

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