Round in gun found on accused man's car at Will Smith shooting

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

NEW ORLEANS -- The first officer to arrive on the scene of the shooting death of former Saints defensive end Will Smith found a gun on the hood of the car belonging to the man accused of the shooting, New Orleans police said Wednesday.

The gun had one round in the chamber and was next to an empty magazine that had been removed.

The news came in an incident report from the night of the shooting that was released by police.

Smith was shot and killed April 9 in New Orleans. Police arrested Cardell Hayes, 28, on charges of second-degree murder.

Police said Hayes' Hummer hit Smith's Mercedes SUV from behind. An argument ensued, and Hayes then shot Smith and his wife, police said. Smith's wife survived.

In the report, police said the officer who arrived on the scene first found the gun -- a .45-caliber Ruger -- on the hood of the Hummer with the empty magazine removed. One round was in the gun's chamber. The officer also found a black holster, the report said.

When the officer arrived, she detained several witnesses in addition to two possible perpetrators, the report said. The names of the witnesses and perpetrators were not in the report, but authorities have already said a passenger riding with Hayes was questioned and released.

The officer also saw a male victim, presumably Smith, partially inside the front driver's side of the vehicle. The officer saw another victim -- presumably his wife, Racquel -- lying on the ground screaming for help, the report said.

The report gave few other details of what transpired during a chaotic night that left many in New Orleans grieving for one of the Saints' former greats.

Hayes is being held on $1 million bond. A lawyer for Hayes has said his client was not the aggressor and that the truth will come out. Smith's family has described Hayes as "enraged" and portrayed his clients as the victims.

New Orleans TV station WVUE FOX 8 reported Wednesday that witnesses have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury Thursday, citing a source close to the defense.

Prosecutors could bypass the preliminary hearing scheduled for April 28 if they are able to secure a grand jury indictment before then.

Information from ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett and The Associated Press was used in this report.