New Orleans Saints: Surveillance Video Shows Hit-and-Run Possibly Involving Will Smith Before Killing

By Dave Martin, Epoch Times
April 12, 2016 Updated: April 12, 2016

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

The person that hit him sped off. My client followed behind that person in an effort to get their license plate.
— John Fuller, Cardell Hayes' attorney,

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.

Hayes’ attorney, John Fuller, said Monday that his client was involved in a hit-and-run before Smith’s death.

“My client was hit,” Fuller said. “The person that hit him sped off. My client followed behind that person in an effort to get their license plate and my client called 911, which will be verified in the upcoming weeks.”

Fuller also seemed to suggest that possibly another gun on the scene could help exonerate Hayes. “It would be safe to say that not only did my client feel threatened, but citizens that were out there on that block felt threatened as well,” Fuller said. “And I think the uncovering or unearthing of a second gun will lend itself to the defense of Mr. Hayes.”

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

Smith was the Saints’ first-round pick in 2004 out of Ohio State. The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder had 67.5 sacks from 2004 through 2012, while starting 120 games. His best season came in 2009 when he led the team with 13.5 sacks as New Orleans won their only Super Bowl.