Slain Saints Player Will Smith Had Dinner With Cop Sued by His Alleged Killer
The suspect charged with fatally shooting New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith once sued a retired police officer, who had dinner with Smith shortly before he was shot Saturday night, authorities said.
The officer, retired Capt. William Ceravolo, was not on the scene of the crash, and police are investigating whether Smith’s dinner companion played a part in the motive for the shooting, but investigators “don’t have any info that links the incidents at this time,” New Orleans police spokesman Tyler A. Gamble told NBC News.
Cardell Hayes, 28, who was charged Sunday with killing Smith, settled the federal lawsuit in 2011 with New Orleans, Ceravolo and several other police officers after they shot and killed his father in 2005, Gamble said.
The six officers involved in the shooting of Hayes’ father, Antonio Hayes, said he had lunged at them with a 3-inch-long knife, according to The Associated Press.
Some time after Smith’s dinner with Ceravolo and others, the football player’s car was rear-ended by Hayes’ Hummer, at which point police said the two exchanged words. Hayes’ then shot Smith “multiple times,” according to police.
Smith’s wife was also shot in the leg during the altercation, but she survived and is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.