5 things to know about NFL’s Will Smith’s alleged killer

Cardell Hayes (Photo Credit: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office)
Cardell Hayes (Photo Credit: Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office)

The tragic death of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith during a road rage encounter is now focused on the alleged shooter. Police have arrested Cardell Hayes, 28, of New Orleans and information has been released about the shooter.

  1. Cardell Hayes was 18 years old when his father, Anthony Hayes, was killed by police. On December 26, 2005, Anthony Hayes, 38, was in a Walgreen’s pharmacy when he began arguing with a cashier over a declined credit card. Anthony Hayes exited the store and witnesses say he was carrying a small knife. People on the scene told police that Anthony Hayes had a history of mental illness. New Orleans police officers surrounded him. Anthony Hayes was pepper sprayed and shot nine times. He died on a busy New Orleans street.
  2. Family members maintained Anthony Hayes was mentally ill and the officers were not justified in shooting their loved one. In the lawsuit, the family stated the officers “acted unreasonably, recklessly and with deliberate indifference and disregard for the constitutional and civil rights and life of Anthony Hayes.” The children of Alfred Hayes sought $4 million in damages over the shooting. Negotiations between the Hayes estate and the city of New Orleans stopped five days before the trial when a settlement agreement was reached between the parties involved.
  3. In September 2011, the Hayes family reached an undisclosed settlement agreement with the city of New Orleans.
  4. On Saturday, April 10, Will Smith and his wife, Racquel Smith, had dinner with Saints running back Pierre Thomas and retired New Orleans police captain William Ceravolo before the fatal run-in with Cardell Hayes. Coincidently, Ceravolo is the officer that Cardell Hayes’ father, Anthony Hayes, charged with his knife before being shot to death 10 years ago.
  5. Attorney Jay Daniels signed on to represent Hayes at a hearing Monday afternoon (April 11) in Orleans Parish Magistrate Court. Hayes has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Will Smith. His bond was set at $1 million.
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