US & Canada

Joe McKnight shooting: Suspect in ex-NFL player's death released from custody

Former New York Jets running back Joe McKnight in 2013. Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr McKnight is the second former professional football player to die in an apparent road-rage incident in New Orleans this year

A motorist has been released without charge a day after allegedly shooting dead a former NFL player in a reported road rage row near New Orleans.

Ex-New York Jets player Joe McKnight, 28, was shot dead at an intersection outside the Louisiana city on Thursday.

Ronald Gasser, 54, has not been formally charged but the matter remains under investigation, police said.

Mr McKnight is the second former NFL star to die this year as a result of a possible road-rage incident.

Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was fatally shot following a traffic accident in April.

Mr McKnight was standing outside his car when he was shot by Mr Gasser in Terrytown, a suburb of New Orleans, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.

Sheriff Normand said Mr Gasser, who is white, remained at the scene after the shooting and handed over his gun to police. He was taken into custody.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr McKnight did not have a gun in his possession, police say

Mr McKnight, who was black, did not have a gun in his possession and officers did not find a gun outside his vehicle, Mr Normand added.

He played three seasons with the New York Jets and one season with the Kansas City Chiefs after attending the University of Southern California.

Mr McKnight played in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2015 and was on the 2016 roster for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

News of his death sparked an outpouring of social media tributes.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who coached Mr McKnight at University of Southern California, tweeted that he was "deeply saddened", while Buffalo Bills running back Reggie Bush said "this one hurts bad".