Over the weekend, former NFL’er Will Smith was laid to rest. A public and private service was held for the 34-year-old, who played defensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints. The memorial service took place on Friday, with family, friends and fans in attendance.
Will’s wife Racquel Smith, who was injured during the incident, was in attendance in a wheelchair from injuries she sustained from the shooting. Much of the Saints organization was in attendance as well.
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) April 15, 2016
— Travers Mackel (@TraversMackel) April 15, 2016
lockers and stage for Will Smith’s visitation. Starts at 2 pm pic.twitter.com/cRxicH7zLQ
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) April 15, 2016
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Will Smith played college football for Ohio State and was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft, where he played for the entirety of his career. He was married to Racquel Joseph. They had two children together and he had another child from a previous relationship.
On April 9, Will Smith was involved in a traffic collision in which another vehicle, driven by 28-year-old Cardell Hayes, rear-ended Smith’s SUV, causing a multiple collision with the vehicle in front of him. Moments earlier and less than two blocks away, in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans, Cardell Hayes’ Hummer had been hit by a Mercedes resembling the SUV driven by Smith which contained Smith, his wife Raquel, and two as-yet-unnamed passengers. Smith and Hayes exchanged words, when Hayes fired a handgun, killing Smith and injuring his wife. Hayes was arrested at the scene. During investigations a fully-loaded 9 millimeter handgun was found in Smith’s car. Hayes and a passenger in his vehicle claimed self-defense. After an investigation, the New Orleans Police Department charged Hayes with second degree murder.
His private funeral was held Saturday.