The man accused of shooting and killing former NFL player Joe McKnight in an apparent road rage incident has been arrested and charged with manslaughter, ABC News reports.
54-year-old Ronald Gasser was arrested on Monday, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, records show. His initial court appearance was this morning, and bond was listed at $500,000. He was also assigned a public defender.
McKnight, 28, died last Thursday in Terrytown, Louisiana. He was unarmed and no weapon was found near his body, officials say.
Gasser, who stayed at the scene after the shooting, was inside his car when he fired three shots at McKnight, officials say. Three shell casings were located in Gasser’s vehicle, and he allegedly admitted to killing McKnight.
McKnight, who attended high school in the state, headed west for college in 2006 and became a football star at the University of Southern California. After his stint at USC, he played for the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs. A spokesman for the McKnight family said that “the family is distressed [and] distraught.”
McKnight is the second NFL player to die in a motorist incident in the New Orleans area this year. In April, former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was fatally wounded while driving in New Orlean’s Lower Garden District. The trial for Smith’s accused killer begins today.
This tragedy is something that changes all of our lives so dramatically,” the statement said. “We are in the process of trying to deal with the grief and what we need to go through legally. We want to give Joe his just due.”