New Orleans Saints: Coroner Says Will Smith Was Shot 8 Times, 7 in the Back
New Orleans Saints: Coroner Says Will Smith Was Shot 8 Times, 7 in the Back

Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was fatally shot seven times in the back—and once in the chest—Saturday night after a traffic accident, according to Orleans Parish coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse.

“Preliminary autopsy results revealed the presence of eight gunshot wound tracks,” said Dr. Rouse in the statement.

“Seven of these wounds were penetrating in nature, with projectiles recovered and no corresponding exit wounds. These bullet tracks had entrance into the left upper back (1), left mid-back (2), left lower back (3), and left lateral chest wall (1). Many of these bullets perforated vital organs, including the lungs and heart.

“One of these wounds was a perforating wound, with both an entrance and an exit wound. This bullet entered the left upper back, traversed soft tissue, and exited from the right shoulder area.”

Cardell Hayes, 28, was charged with second-degree murder in the case. The 34-year-old Smith, who played nine seasons in the NFL, was shot after the driver of a vehicle hit Smith’s SUV, and the driver and Smith exchanged words, police say.

A surveillance video from a restaurant in New Orleans appears to show a hit-and-run incident between two vehicles matching the descriptions Smith, who was driving a Mercedes G63 SUV, and Hayes, who was driving a Hummer H2, just a few minutes before Smith was killed Saturday night.

According to a report on ESPN, the video appears to show a Mercedes SUV bump the rear end of a Hummer near the intersection of Magazine Street and St. Andrew Street, roughly two blocks from where Hayes is accused of shooting and killing Smith at 11:30 p.m. ET. As the Hummer then goes to pull over to the right, the Mercedes SUV goes around him to the left—into the oncoming traffic lane—and drives off. The Hummer then pulls back into the lane and appears to pursue the Mercedes.

Will Smith’s family attorney, Peter M. Thomson, said Smith’s wife, Racquel, was shot in each leg before Smith was shot eight times himself.

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