Former NFL and John Curtis HS player Joe McKnight killed in apparent road rage shooting

Stepfather of Joe McKnight speaks about shooting
Published: Dec. 1, 2016 at 8:18 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2016 at 12:09 AM CST
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Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe McKnight (22) is congratulated by Kansas City Chiefs wide...
Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe McKnight (22) is congratulated by Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Junior Hemingway (88) and tight end Travis Kelce (87) after McKnight scores a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami
Joe McKnight was killed in Terrytown on Thursday. (FOX 8)
Joe McKnight was killed in Terrytown on Thursday. (FOX 8)

TERRYTOWN, LA (WVUE) - Former John Curtis and NFL player Joe McKnight was killed Thursday in a possible road rage shooting at a busy Terrytown intersection, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said it happened just after 3 p.m. at the corner of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard. Two lanes of the roadway were shut down for several hours following the shooting.

Multiple witnesses said a man in an Infiniti sedan pulled the victim from his Audi and shot him multiple times after a verbal altercation. Witnesses said the shooter then waited for police to show up.

Sheriff Newell Normand identified the suspected shooter as Ronald Gasser, 54. Normand said he does not believe McKnight was carrying a gun.

Normand said there was a verbal exchange after a traffic incident, but did not release any other details about the moments leading up to the shooting. He said he will release more details after interviewing witnesses and Gasser.

Former LSU and current Arizona Cardinals player Tyrann Mathieu tweeted about the killing in the hours after the shooting.

Another former Tiger and current NFL player, Jarvis Landry, also tweeted about the death.

Former Saints and University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush said this shooting "hurts bad."

Another former teammate, Brian Cushing, said he is "absolutely crushed to hear the news" about McKnight's death.

LSU head coach Ed Ogeron said he was deeply saddened by the "senseless passing" of the former USC player. Ogeron also coached at Southern California.

McKnight's stepfather, Elmo Lee, said the former NFL running back was about to be signed by the Minnesota Vikings.

"I just want people to know that this was not a troubled kid. The boy was just trying to make it back in the NFL, that's all he wanted to do," Lee said. "That was his whole dream since six years old. I've been knowing him from six, and this is just senseless, and it has to stop. Somewhere it has to stop."

McKnight was one of the best this state has ever produced. He became a household name in Louisiana during his high school career, the majority of which was spent at Curtis playing for the Patriots.

McKnight was an all-state performer for Curtis, leading them to multiple state titles.

Many LSU fans hoped McKnight would end up with the Tigers. He was a five-star recruit that ended up playing collegiately at USC. From there, he went on to the NFL, going in the fourth round to the New York Jets where he was used at running back and eventually as a cornerback.

He would spend three seasons there before moving on to the Kansas City Chiefs. He had just wrapped up his first season in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who released the following statement Thursday night:

"It is with deep sorrow that we have learned of the devastating news of the loss of Saskatchewan Roughriders player Joe McKnight. Joe was killed this afternoon in Terrytown, Louisiana.

"'We are shocked to hear the news of Joe's sudden passing,' stated Riders Vice President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach Chris Jones. 'We send our deepest sympathies to Joe's family, friends, and all those impacted by this tragedy.'  

"'We are saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Joe McKnight,' said Riders President and CEO Craig Reynolds. 'Losing a member of our Rider family this way is an unthinkable occurrence. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe's family, teammates and coaches.'"

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