Riders running back Joe McKnight shot dead

Saskatchewan Roughrider running back Joe McKnight has been shot to death in New Orleans.

From the story in the New Orleans Picayune-Times:

A witness, who declined to give her name, said she was leaving a store in the area when she saw a man at the intersection yelling at another man, who was trying to apologize. The man who was yelling shot the other man more than once, she said.

She said the shooter shot the man, stood over him and said “I told you don’t you f— with me.” Then he fired again, she said.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand says it happened about 2:43 p.m. Thursday in Terrytown, a suburb of New Orleans.

Normand says 28-year-old McKnight was standing outside his car when he was shot by 54-year-old Ronald Gasser.

Normand says Gasser stayed at the scene and relinquished his weapon to responding officers. He says Gasser is in custody and being questioned.

Sheriff’s spokesman Col. John Fortunato says they’re anticipating charging Gasser but it’s unclear with what.

McKnight was signed to Saskatchewan’s practice roster on Sept. 26, and he ran for 150 yards in his first CFL start on Oct. 15 as the Roughriders beat Toronto 29-11.

“We are shocked to hear the news of Joe’s sudden passing,” Roughriders general manager and head coach Chris Jones said in a statement. “We send our deepest sympathies to Joe’s family, friends, and all those impacted by this tragedy.”

McKnight finished the 2016 season with 228 rushing yards and 80 receiving yards over five games with Edmonton and Saskatchewan.

“We are saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Joe McKnight,” said Riders president and CEO Craig Reynolds in a release. “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.”

He is the second CFL player to be shot to death this year after Stampeders defensive back Mylan Hicks was killed outside a Calgary nightclub in September.

“On behalf of our Board of Governors and the entire CFL family, I’d like to convey my deepest sympathies to all those close to Joe McKnight, especially his loved ones and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ organization at this difficult time,” CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said in a statement.

McKnight, who played for the NFL’s New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs before moving to the CFL, is also the second former NFL player this year to die in the New Orleans area as a result of a possible road-rage incident. Saints player Will Smith was killed in April.

There was reaction from around the league.

Must Read