Shooter of ex-NFL player charged with manslaughter
HARVEY, La. - The man who fatally shot ex-NFL player Joe McKnight has been arrested and jailed on a charge of manslaughter.
Jail records show 54-year-old Ronald Gasser was arrested late Monday.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand called a news conference for 10 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the case.
Normand said that manslaughter was the charge the sheriff's office felt "most appropriately fits at this time."
Normand stated the incident began with both Gasser and McKnight driving "erratically" before the Crescent City Connection bridge. Mcknight possibly cut off Gasser and then Gasser in return began chasing after McKnight.
While the two were driving, Normand said that McKnight and Gasser were engaging in an argument from both of their cars. The two then came to a stop at a red light while still arguing. At that point, McKnight got out of his car and went to Gasser's, according to Normand.
Gasser then pulls out a gun and shoots McKnight three times.
Normand explained that while Gasser was in custody he did admit to shooting McKnight, however there were no other corroborating statements obtained from witnesses who saw the shooting. He said that only one witness that was spoken to the same day the shooting happened stated they saw what happened, however that witness lied.
"Shame on that individual," Normand said.
Normand stated that Gasser was released from custody without charges in order for the sheriff's office to gather more evidence and statements as to what happened.
"Our arrest is only as good as our prosecution," Normand said.
In the process, Normand along with elected officials, received several messages that contained racial divisive and explicative comments, which he read aloud at the press conference.
"That was completely and totally uncalled for," Normand said.
He stated that the elected officials and leaders who contributed to the investigation did not deserve those comments and threats.
"All they have tried to do is their job to get to the truth," Normand said.
Normand called on the community to end that type of rhetoric and to not jump to conclusions similar cases that might occur in the future.
"I suggest that you pause and let elected officials do their job," Normand said.