New details have emerged in the fatal shooting of former NFL player Joe McKnight, who was gunned down in New Orleans on Thursday afternoon in an apparent “road rage incident.” Jefferson Parrish Sheriff Newell Normand held a press conference Friday afternoon and divulged several details of the shooting, as well as dispelled some rumors spread about the incident.
The New Orleans Advocate‘s Ramon Antonio Vargas reported much of the news conference on Twitter, first noting that Newell denied that McKnight’s shooter, 54-year-old Ronald Gasser, stood over McKnight and continued shooting him. Instead, the Sheriff said “Mr. Gasser was in his vehicle when he fired 3 shots.” Newell said McKnight was shot in the hand, shoulder and below the chest, which caused fatal damage to some of his organs.
Newell also denied that Gasser had a background in law enforcement, and the rumor that McKnight was apologizing to Gasser about the road incident before he was shot. The Sheriff said the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law “looms on the horizon” in the case, but declined to speak further on that detail, in an effort to not sway witnesses through public statements. Newell also said “there is no video that we have been able to recover” and the Sheriff’s department has yet to interview witnesses in an effort to avoid “tainting” them.
Gasser was detained initially and admitted to shooting McKnight, but he was ultimately released without being charged. Early reports said McKnight was unarmed but Newell ended his press conference before confirming or denying that detail.