Smith's attorney: No hit-and-run, only deadly violence

Smith's attorney: No hit-and-run, only deadly violence

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The attorney for Will Smith's family released new details about what his clients say happened the night the former Saints player was shot to death.

Smith was Sake Café on Magazine St. on April 9 with a large group of people, including his wife, Pierre Thomas and another woman.

Smith and his wife got into their SUV with another couple to drive that couple back to their car. There were four people in Smith's vehicle.

Attorney Peter Thomson said Smith was "not inebriated to the point he could not drive."

A toxicology analysis will be performed to detect any substances in Smith's body, but results will take approximately six to eight weeks.

As the SUV traveled down Magazine St., a Hummer, allegedly driven by Cardell Hayes, came to an abrupt stop in front of Smith, according to Thomson. Smith slammed on his brakes.

The consensus of the people riding in Smith's SUV was that they did not hit the Hummer. Thomson said Smith drove away out of concern for safety. They were not sure why the Hummer came to an abrupt stop ahead of their vehicle.

As they were driving down Sophie B. Wright Place in the Lower Garden District, Smith and his passengers were talking about the incident.

Suddenly, the Hummer drives up behind them and "violently" rammed into the SUV, shattering the back windshield.

Thomson said Smith checked to make sure everyone was okay before getting out of his vehicle. Witnesses in Smith's SUV said a large man got out of the Hummer and started walking towards the SUV. Smith and other person exited their vehicle and walked towards the Hummer. Words were exchanged and Hayes started to yell and curse at Smith, Thomson said.

Smith's wife, Raquel, and another young woman approached Smith to diffuse the situation. After some time, Smith and his friend walked back to their SUV.

Thomson said Hayes followed them back to the SUV and fired two shot at Smith's wife, striking her in both legs.

Moments after, he unloaded at least eight shots into Smith's back.

"There were 10 shots that we know were fired," Thomson said.

A forensic autopsy was conducted two days after Smith was killed. Coroner Jeffrey Rouse confirmed Smith was shot eight times. The bullets entered the upper-back, mid-back, lower-back and left side of the chest. The bullets hit vital organs, including the lungs and heart.

After the shooting, the killer showed no remorse, Thomson said. The wife crawled away to hide while Hayes was yelling over Smith's body.

Thomson said there is no doubt Smith was murdered. "Absolutely. I believe the evidence and facts will prevail."

There has also been talk of Smith having gun.

"At no time during event did Smith brandish or carry his firearm," Thomson said. He was licensed by the state of Louisiana to carry gun, but he left the firearm in the vehicle.

Police found it with a full clip.

Thomson stopped short of saying it was a road rage incident caused by a crash.

"This was no hit and run … There was no fender-bender in this case."

John Fuller, the suspect's attorney, said the shooting was a case of self-defense.

Smith was 34.

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