Utica’s Will Smith Shot and Killed in New Orleans
Former NFL star and Proctor graduate Will Smith was killed last night in New Orleans following a road rage incident in the city, according to NOLA.com. His wife Raquel was shot twice in the leg, reports said. He was 34.
Police say the incident happened following a fender bender when Smith and the driver of the other vehicle exchanged words.
According to NOLA.com, 'Smith and the driver of the Hummer "exchanged words, at which time the driver of the Hummer produced a handgun and shot (Smith) multiple times and his 34-year-old wife twice in the right leg," Barnes said in a statement.'
Media reports say Smith was hunched over the steering wheel following the shooting. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was transported to a local hospital.
Police say the alleged shooter is in custody.
ESPN is reporting that Smiths family released the following statement this morning:
"On behalf of the Smith family, we are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers. We ask that you continue to respect the family's privacy as they grieve the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend."
Smith was a 1999 Proctor High School graduate and played college football at Ohio State where he was part of their National Championship team. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2004. He played with New Orleans until 2014. Smith was well known in the area for charity work and coming back to Utica to work with young athletes.
The Utica Observer Dispatch is reporting that Smith was scheduled to be here in Utica for an event this Thursday.
He was scheduled to appear for the eighth straight year at his annual "Evening with All-Stars," a dinner honoring the Observer-Dispatch's 2015 All-Mohawk Valley Football Team, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Daniele's Banquet Facility on Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford.
Check back for more details later today.