Crime

Shooter Of NFL Player Allegedly Had Violent Past

| by Jordan Smith

A police report from 2006 suggests that the shooter of former NFL player Joe McKnight had a history of violence prior to the fatal incident Dec. 1.

"I will get you," he warned another driver in a prior road rage incident 10 years ago. 

Ronald Gasser, 54, admitted to shooting McKnight after a road rage incident near New Orleans, the Washington Post reported.

Gasser was named by police as a suspect in a Feb. 20, 2006 confrontation between two drivers in Jefferson County, Louisiana, the same area where McKnight was shot. Gasser allegedly cut the other driver off with his vehicle, prompting the alleged victim to call a number shown on Gasser’s car to complain.

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Gasser reportedly responded by following the individual into a gas station and hitting him twice on the head and once on the shoulder.

“I will get you,” Gasser then allegedly warned, TMZ reported.

Gasser was issued a misdemeanor for battery, but it was later dropped for unexplained reasons.

McKnight’s death has raised questions about Louisiana’s “stand your ground” legislation, especially after police chose to release Gasser Dec. 1 while investigations continue into the 27-year-old’s death.

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“In this state, there are some relative statutes that provide defenses to certain crimes…,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told a news conference, the Post reported. “For example, officers have those same defenses, so when we shoot and kill someone it’s a homicide, but the question is, is it justified?”

Hundreds of people gathered at a memorial for McKnight Dec. 3.

“You can believe that we will be going back to the Capitol to work on legislation to make it clear (that) when people commit these crimes, they cannot hide behind laws that were intended to do one thing, and are used to disguise what appears to be (murder),” Democratic State Senator Troy Carter said at the memorial, according to Nola.com.

Speakers stressed the need to show unity.

“We all need to come together,” said Robby Green, one of McKnight’s former teammates. “Regardless of what happens here and what happens with this situation, I think we all need to come together. White, black, Spanish — it doesn’t matter what we are as a race, gender. I think we all need to come together.”

After the memorial, the participants released white balloons into the air and chanted, “Justice! Justice!”

Sources: TMZ, Washington Post, Nola.com/ photo credit: Nola.com

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