Former NFL Player, Joe McKnight, Shot Dead In Traffic Incident In New Orleans

Former NFL Player, Joe McKnight was shot and killed in New Orleans yesterday. The shooter, Ronald Gasser, stayed on the scene after the shooting holding his gun until police arrived. When asked to hand over his weapon, he did so peacefully and was taken into police custody.

This story was updated at 10:45 a.m.

Ronald Gasser was released from jail sometime overnight. A representative of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Dept. told TMZ that Gasser was released after officials felt they had no reason to hold him. The case is however, still open.

Original story

The NFL,  football fans and the Canadian Football League are all in mourning today as  news of the murder of  Joe McKnight spreads. The 28-year-old former New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs player is the second  former NFL played  gunned  down in New Orleans traffic in 2016. Superbowl champion, former New Orleans Saints player, Will Smith was  gunned down  in  April in an apparent  road  rage incident as well.

Details  surrounding the shooting  are  sketchy as of right now. The only facts  that  have been verified is that 54-year-old Ronald Gasser indeed shouted at McKnight before pulling his weapon and  shooting  him multiple times at point blank range. Witnesses were horrified as they looked on. One  woman told  police that she witnessed Gasser  shouting at  McKnight, who was  profusely trying to apologize for something. After McKnight had fallen to the ground from his injuries, witnesses report that he then stood over McKnight’s body stating “I told you not to fu#k with me” before  firing  at him again.



The shooting  happened at approximately 2:45 p.m. in the middle of the busy intersection at Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard.

McKnight’s story of success  has  been much followed  since before his being drafted into the NCAA in 2007. Joe McKnight was a standout football star in   high school. When  he lost  his  home in the devastation  of Hurricane Katrina, JT Curtis, his  high school coach  took him in. In 2005 ESPN did a  story on the  young player and  his coach, who saw something  great in the  young athlete. It is a very  touching  story of love, faith and strength.

After  graduation  from John Curtis Christian High School in River Ridge, Louisiana, McKnight received the  “Frank Gifford Endowed Football Scholarship” to  attend the University of  Southern California.

In  2010 McKnight was  the fourth round draft pic of the New York Jets and  started his career as a professional  athlete. In  2013  he  was signed to the Kansas City Chiefs. An injury took him out of the  game in  2014.

Joe McKnight was  not  done with football however, in 2016 the  athlete  joined the Canadian Football League. He played for the  Edmonton  Eskimos before being  signed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He played in his debut  for the Roughriders in  October 2016.

On hearing of  his  death, Mcknight’s high school coach, JT Curtis said “To say this is a shock is an understatement. It is like losing part of your family; I have known Joe since he was in the fourth grade – and his sister and brother.  They’re like family, and my heart just goes out to them. … I’m at a loss for words to be honest.”

McKnight's shielded body
McKnight’s shielded body


Video  has appeared  on the  internet of the scene  after  McKnight was  shot. A  uniformed officer, EMT and  man clad in military gear all worked to resuscitate the  wounded athlete who succumbed to his injuries on the street.

The shooter, Ronald Gasser, stayed on the scene after the shooting holding his gun until  police arrived. When  asked to hand over his weapon, he did so peacefully and was taken into police custody.

Joe McKnight was  unarmed and  apologizing  when  shot. R.I.P. Joe McKnight April 16, 1988-December 1, 2016. He leaves behind one  child.

McKnight's Cousin on the scene
McKnight’s Cousin on the scene


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