Suspect in fatal shooting of former NFL player Joe McKnight released
NEW ORLEANS – The suspect in the fatal shooting of former football player Joe McKnight has been released, WWL reports.
The suspect, 54-year-old Ronald Gasser, was taken into the custody of the Jefferson Sheriff's Parish Office immediately after the shooting took place on Thursday afternoon. McKnight was killed during an apparent road rage incident or confrontation with Gasser near an intersection in Terrytown.
According to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman, Gasser admitted to shooting McKnight and gave an explanation to investigators, however he has not been charged and was released overnight. Further details have not been released at this time.
McKnight played at John Curtis Christian High School and the University of South California. He went on to have an NFL career playing for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. Most recently, he played with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
The incident remains under investigation.
McKnight is the second former NFL player that was killed in New Orleans as a result of a possible road rage incident. Will Smith, a former New Orleans Saints player, was also fatally shot in New Orleans back in April. Cardell Hayes was arrested with the murder of Smith and faces an upcoming trial.
Joe McKnight's grandmother says family members are still seeking information on why Gasser was released from custody.
Barbara Franklin told The Associated Press by telephone Friday that relatives are "trying to find out our own selves" more about what happened.
She says family members haven't had any communication with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office about Gasser's release, saying she learned of it through a radio broadcast Friday.
"He might be released now, but God is going to bring about justice in it," Franklin said of Gasser's release.
Jennifer McKnight, the athlete's mother, declined through tears to speak to a reporter.