Witnesses describe scene where former NFL player Joe McKnight died

Caresse Jackman talks to witnesses at the scene of the fatal shooting of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight.

TERRYTOWN, La. – Eyewitness video shows first responders frantically trying to save former football player Joe McKnight’s life.

McKnight was shot and killed Thursday afternoon, in what deputies are investigating as an apparent road rage incident.

In the video, a Jefferson Parish deputy and man in a military uniform trying to resuscitate McKnight, but it was too late.

Gunfire transformed the busy intersection and Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard on the West Bank into a crime scene.

Word of McKnight’s death spread quickly. 

Jefferson Parish investigators said McKnight and 54-year-old Ronald Gasser were traveling down the intersection side by side. An argument broke out between McKnight and Gasser, and authorities said it ended with Gasser shooting the former football star.

"The shooter in the case, who stayed on the scene, relinquished his weapon to our officers," said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.

As deputies questioned witnesses, people nearby stood in shock, huddled together in tears.

Lance Harris said he was traveling down Holmes Boulevard just two cars behind Gasser's vehicle.

"Him and Joe McKnight met up and that’s when he started arguing from an argument you heard gunshots,” Harris recalled. “You heard three gunshots.”

Harris said Gasser stayed after the shooting.

"Just standing there with the gun, waiting. Standing there with the gun until the police they asked him to put the gun down," Harris said.

McKnight's death comes almost eight months after former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was gunned down following a minor traffic crash in the Lower Garden District. 

As police piece together what happened many people said they're simply fed up with the senseless shootings and violence that continues to plague the region. 

"It's sad,” said Terrytown resident Jasmine Williams. “I feel like he had no reason to lose his life."

(© 2016 WWL)


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