NOPD reserve officer pulled from duty during Will Smith investigation

Will Smith friend pulled from NOPD reserve duty during investigation

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - An NOPD reserve officer and friend of former Saints player Will Smith has been removed from duty pending the ongoing investigation into Smith's shooting death.

Billy Ceravolo is a witness in the case. The NOPD said it's looking into Ceravolo's involvement in the investigation before, during and after Smith's killing.

Smith was gunned down April 9 after having dinner at a Magazine Street restaurant with his wife, Racquel, former Saints player Pierre Thomas and NOPD reserve officer Ceravolo.

At around 11:30 p.m., police said Cardell Hayes rear-ended Smith's Mercedes SUV at Sophie Wright and Felicity Street, and after words were exchanged, Hayes shot Smith eight times. Racquel was shot twice.

Hayes' attorney, John Fuller, has maintained that Hayes was not the aggressor. Fuller recently submitted a written request to the mayor and the NOPD chief requesting that State Police take over the investigation, citing "a grave lack of faith in the honesty and competency in the investigation."

Pictures taken on the scene April 9 show Ceravolo was present as NOPD officers investigated.

The Smith family attorney said Hayes intentionally gunned down Smith, while Fuller said Smith had a gun in his hand before he was killed.

Fuller has subpoenaed Thomas and Ceravolo to testify at the next court hearing on April 28.

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