Man Who Admitted To Killing Former NFL Player Released From Custody

Several of McKnight's former teams and teammates expressed their sentiments after his death.

(Michael DeMocker / The Times-Picayune via AP).

Outside of the sheriff's office, protestors held up a sign reading "A Man Was Lynched Yesterday", an apparent reference to the historic NAACP sign.

"Mr. Gasser is not going anywhere", Normand said.

One day later, the white man who admitted to authorities that he'd fired the bullet responsible for killing McKnight walked out of a police station a free man.

Details about what led to the shooting remain murky, but Normand said it could've been a case of a driver cutting someone off.

In the 2006 incident, a man observed a truck driving erratically and called a number on the truck, speaking to a man later identified as Gasser.

"A verbal altercation began between the victim and Gasser", over the phone, JPSO said. "The three casings were located within the vehicle". In 2010 he was drafted into the National Football League to play for the New York Jets, spending two years with the team before being cut in 2013.

He was released by the Jets as part of their final cuts after training camp in 2013 and spent that season out of football.

A coroner said there was one gunshot wound to McKnight's left hand. "He was amusing. Just a real laid-back guy, always kept you laughing and always a smile on his face".

He also warned protesters that they will be arrested if they block the Westbank Expressway or any other public highway during protests. According to a female eyewitness, McKnight attempted to bring calm to the situation as the other man became more belligerent. Gasser then stood over McKnight and said, "I told you don't you (expletive) with me", the paper quoted a witness as saying. The two exchanged words as their argument became more intense. Normand defended his handling of the case, saying the investigation was ongoing. No charges have been filed.

He said that the stand-your-ground law "is one of the issues that looms on the horizon".

In an impassioned statement Friday afternoon, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand refuted accounts of the events surrounding the shooting death of Roughriders running back Joe McKnight, 28. "These rounds struck (McKnight), who had previously exited the gray Audi Q7 and was positioned at the passenger window of the Infiniti", the release said.

The sheriff didn't immediately announce any charges and cautioned repeatedly against a rush to judgment. But, it was revealed in the course of the press conference, the office released Gasser before they even completed McKnight's autopsy.

With his running and catching skills, McKnight was often compared to do-it-all running back Reggie Bush, a USC star who was the No. 2 overall pick by New Orleans in the 2006 draft.

Barbara Franklin told The Associated Press relatives are "trying to find out our own selves" just what happened. The shooting happened about 3 p.m. Thursday in the New Orleans suburb of Terrytown.

In a weird aside, Normand then went on to say that "the gentleman that raised Joe McKnight Jr. used to work for this office" as a deputy.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office declined to charge Gasser, and released him from custody overnight.

Normand added that Gasser turned in his weapon to officers before they took him into custody and questioned him. Former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was killed in April in a shooting that was sparked by a traffic altercation.

Investigators believe Gasser and McKnight were part of a road rage incident that stretched from the Greater New Orleans Bridge to Terrytown, a route that stretches approximately six miles, officials said. Gasser stayed on the scene and waited for responding deputies.

Still of question is if at any moment Joe McKnight had physically accosted Gasser or was in the process of doing so?



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