Police have discovered a fully loaded 9mm handgun inside of the vehicle of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith, who was shot and killed last Saturday night. There was no evidence that the gun had been fired, but it is unclear who the gun belonged to as there were two other passengers in the car (who were unharmed) in addition to Smith and his wife.

Police have determined that Smith’s shooter was Cardell Hayes and was motivated by a traffic altercation. Hayes, driving an orange Hummer, had hit Smith’s vehicle, a Mercedes SUV. This caused Smith to hit a grey Chevrolet Impala which two friends of Smith were driving. Hayes, who played defense in a semi-pro football league, identified himself as the shooter after the officers arrived and was booked for Second Degree Murder. An additional charge for Smith’s wife, who was shot in the leg and survived after being taken to the hospital, has yet to be determined.

Bu the attorney of the man who was in the car with Hayes said, “My client believes that Cardell saved his life.”

Hayes’ attorney, John Fuller, seems to agree that there is more to the story than it seems. Fuller claims that someone other than his client was being aggressive and threatening. He believes Hayes will be vindicated once the full story emerges.

“My client has been pilloried, convicted and tried,” said Fuller in the news and social media.

Fuller also explained that Hayes had been a victim of a hit-and-run when he hit Smith’s vehicle. He had called 911 and was following the vehicle to read the license plate number. There is surveillance footage showing what appears to be Smith’s Mercedes SUV bumping the rear of a Hummer on a busy street. The Hummer pulls over but the Mercedes pulls around it and drives away.

Fuller also has asked that everyone in Saturday’s incident submit to toxicology testing, saying he has a “strong suspicion” that Smith may have been “under the influence of some kind of mind-altering substance” on Saturday night.

The police have yet to release the statements of Smith’s wife or the other passengers in the two cars.

Smartphone footage records someone warning Hayes that he was armed, which prompted Hayes to withdraw his gun and start firing. Smith’s wife is heard screaming for her husband after being shot.

Public visitation will be held on Friday for Smith, a fan favorite in his area, and a private funeral and burial will be held on Saturday. After his retirement from the NFL, he stayed in New Orleans (although he was originally from Ohio), committing to helping the city recover from Hurricane Katrina and supporting a foundation that helped women and children.

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