Guy Who Fatally Shot Ex-NFLer Charged With Manslaughter

Ronald Gasser had initially been released without charges
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 6, 2016 11:49 AM CST
Guy Who Fatally Shot Ex-NFLer Charged With Manslaughter
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand consoles a woman at the scene of former NFL player Joe McKnight's homicide as the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office investigates in Terrytown, La., Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016.    (Michael Democker)

The man who fatally shot ex-NFL player Joe McKnight during a road rage dispute has been arrested and jailed on a manslaughter charge, records show. Ronald Gasser, 54, was arrested late Monday. He was initially taken into custody after the shooting last Thursday but he was released without being charged pending further investigation. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand held a news conference at 10am Tuesday to discuss the case, the AP reports. Normand has said the dispute between the men started on a bridge and proceeded into a New Orleans suburb. Gasser shot McKnight three times from inside his car while McKnight stood outside, Normand said. No weapon was found on or near McKnight's body, authorities said. When deputies arrived, the sheriff said Gasser handed them his gun and said he shot McKnight, 28.

McKnight is black and Gasser is white, authorities said, though Normand said race hasn't played a role in the case. NBC's Pro Football Talk calls Tuesday's press conference "bizarre," noting that Normand complained about criticism his department has received over its handling of the incident and even reading from profanity-laden emails he's received. Normand did address details of the case, and revealed that Gasser was upset McKnight cut him off in traffic and followed McKnight until McKnight stopped his car and walked over to Gasser's car, at which point Gasser allegedly shot him. A decade ago, Gasser was involved in a similar altercation—at the same intersection—with a driver Gasser allegedly hit, but Gasser's misdemeanor summons for simple battery was ultimately dismissed. Authorities have said they are trying to determine why it was dismissed. (More Joe McKnight stories.)

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