The murder of former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Will Smith brought a level of road rage that stunned not only the NFL but the general public. Smith’s wife, Racquel, was shot twice in the legs during the incident and remains hospitalized. In the aftermath, Saints coach Sean Payton condemned gun culture and the “madness” of those who heavily arm themselves, which he sees as contrary to what the Second Amendment drafters intended.
Payton noted how Smith was killed with a .45, which isn’t a casual sort of weapon. All it takes is one shot from this gun to kill a person, yet Smith was shot multiple times. The number of times remained nebulous (many outlets reported at least four shots), but an autopsy has produced results that are more horrifying than previously imagined. New Orleans coroner Jeffrey Rouse told the press how Smith’s murderer shot him once in the chest and discharged seven more bullets into his back. Yes, that’s a total of eight times:
Rouse said in the statement that “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.”
Smith’s death has been preliminarily ruled a homicide, and Rouse anticipates toxicology reports at around the six- to eight-week mark. Suspect Cardell Hayes awaits second-degree murder charges that are pending. ESPN has more details on competing stories between Smith family attorneys and Hayes representatives, for both sides fail to agree on who was the aggressor.
In the days following Smith’s death, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Tyrann Mathieu says he received death threats after he branded Hayes “a coward” for reportedly shooting Smith in the back.