TERRYTOWN – Former NFL football player and John Curtis star Joe McKnight was shot and killed following some type of auto-involved incident Thursday afternoon in Terrytown.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand confirmed McKnight, 28, was the victim. The suspect in the case was identified as 54-year-old Ronald Gasser, who stayed on the scene and was taken into custody. Normand said he handed his weapon over to deputies. Detectives were questioning him late Thursday evening.
"Mr. Gasser did, in fact, shoot Mr. McKnight. We will be releasing additional details as we get through these interviews with these witnesses," Normand said. "Mr. McKnight did not have a gun in his possession."
A man who witnessed the incident from a couple of car lengths behind said there was an incident where a car cut off the other and it led to an argument.
"From an argument you heard gunfire… when I turned off, I exited my vehicle and I saw Joe McKnight on the ground, bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds."
"Our officers arrived on the scene and immediately began administering CPR," said Normand.
"It's horrible," said J.T. Curtis, the head coach, who had McKnight live with him shortly after Katrina when he lacked a place to stay. Curtis was heading to the McKnight home to meet with his family.
The incident happened about 3 p.m. near Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard, just across the Orleans and Jefferson Parish line.
A woman who was also at the scene said the shooting was not necessary.
"You don't come and take somebody's life," she said while sobbing. "That's somebody's dad, somebody's brother, somebody's father. You don't know if that man had kids. And now they don't have a father because some white dude's acting all macho."
McKnight starred at John Curtis as a receiver and return man who played on the school's national championship team in the mid-2000s.
He played college football at USC, following in the footsteps of Reggie Bush and had an NFL career with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, before settling into the Canadian Football league after being cut by the Chiefs in 2015.
RIP my brother Joe McKnight this one hurts bad— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) December 1, 2016
Man that's crazy RIP Joe McKnight..— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) December 1, 2016
Damn RIP Joe McKnight. Killed in his own city, #504Boys4Life— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) December 1, 2016