Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was murdered in New Orleans shortly before midnight on April 9. According to reports by The Times-Picayune, Smith was driving in the Lower Garden District with his wife when his Mercedes Benz SUV was rear-ended by a Hummer. The fender-bender caused Smith’s car to hit a Chevy Impala.
Moments after the crash, Smith and the driver of the SUV began exchanging words with each other. The driver of the Hummer allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Smith several times and shot Smith’s wife twice in her leg. Smith died on the scene. The man who allegedly shot Smith was arrested and is currently in police custody.
Smith, 34, will be remembered as one of the best defensive players to ever wear a Saints uniform. During his 10-year career with the Saints, Smith helped lead the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2009, he recorded 67.5 career sacks, and 618 tackles.
Off the field, Smith created the Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way foundation to help provide opportunities for women and inner-city youth.
Several notable NFL players and pro athletes took to social media to send their condolences to Smith and his family:
Damn just heard about Will Smith! What a tragedy man. I don’t even have words. I just hope and pray for his wife to make it out of this!
— Jonas Gray (@jgray_ND25) April 10, 2016
My prayers go out to the family of Buckeye Great, Will Smith. Another life taken due to… https://t.co/ASXIsStMRN
— evan turner (@thekidet) April 10, 2016
Life is 2 short cherish every moment you get. RIP Will Smith #Saints its sad Lost another brothers this year.Prayers go out to his family ??
— Rashad Ross (@TheRocketRashad) April 10, 2016
— Andrew Luck (@FauxAndyLuck) April 10, 2016