Former NFL Player Shot and Killed in New Orleans

Angela Bronner Helm
Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints against the Carolina Panthers in 2010
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

A former New Orleans Saints player was shot and killed and his wife was wounded in what police are calling a case of road rage, reports

Defensive end Will Smith was fatally shot in the Lower Garden District of the city around 11:29 p.m. Saturday; his wife, Racquel Smith, was shot twice in the leg in the incident.


The Daily News reports that Smith was killed following a three-car crash in which a man behind the wheel of a Hummer H2 “exchanged words” with Smith after the driver struck the defensive end’s Mercedes-Benz SUV from behind.

The 30-year-old suspect then opened fire and shot Smith multiple times as the athlete stepped out of the vehicle. The shooter reportedly stayed at the crime scene until police arrived and arrested him.


Smith, 34, was easily considered one of the Saints’ best defenders and was part of the Super Bowl winning team in 2009—the first championship in franchise history.

Smith was a first-round draft pick in 2004, and the five-time defensive captain started 120 games in his career with the Saints. He tore his ACL in the 2013 preseason and was released in the recent offseason because of his age and $13.9 million salary-cap number, the paper reports.


“A senseless and tragic loss,” tweeted Saints Vice President of Communications Greg Bensel at 3 a.m. Sunday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Will Smith—his wife Racquel—his children William, Wynter and Lisa.”

Will and Racquel Smith were married June 21, 2008. Smith leaves behind three children.

Read more at and the New York Daily News.

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