Joe McKnight Shooting: White Suspect’s Release Sparks Outrage on Social Media

The former NFL player was shot and killed in Louisiana on Thursday night

joe mcknight
New York Jets

People are outraged over the release of the admitted suspect in the shooting of former NFL running back Joe McKnight, who was killed in Louisiana on Thursday night in an apparent road rage incident that some speculate was racially motivated.

Authorities have identified Ronald Gasser, 54, as the suspect in the shooting. However, he was released from custody overnight without being charged, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato told ABC News. He said there was no reason to continue holding Gasser.

According to The Times-Picayune, a witness observed McKnight arguing with another man at an intersection in Terrytown. She said McKnight was trying to apologize when the man drew a gun and shot McKnight multiple times.

The shooter then allegedly stood over McKnight and said, “I told you, don’t you f— with me” before firing again.

According to ABC News, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said at a press conference Thursday night that Gasser stayed at the scene of the shooting and “relinquished his weapon to our officers” when he was taken into custody.

“We are interviewing a number of witnesses as well as Mr. Gasser,” Normand said. “Mr. Gasser did in fact shoot Mr. McKnight and we will be releasing additional details as we get through these interviews with these witnesses as well as with Mr. Gasser.”

Fortunato added that a grand jury or the district attorney will decide whether or not charges should be filed against Gasser.

A New Orleans native, McKnight was a high school football standout who was recruited to play running back for the University of Southern California in 2007. He entered the NFL Draft in 2010 and was selected in the fourth round by the New York Jets.

McKnight’s pro career proved unremarkable. He failed the Jets’ conditioning test in 2013 during training camp, per ESPN, which he blamed on dehydration. He was then arrested for outstanding traffic violations and missed practices due to what he later called a concussion. He also got into a Twitter battle with a fan, whom he challenged to a fight.

McKnight was released by the Jets in 2013, signing with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014. He played two games for the team and scored two touchdowns before tearing his Achilles tendon. He went on to play in the Canadian Football League and is still listed as an active player for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

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