In a press conference on Friday, Sheriff Nomand of Jefferson Parrish provided his assessment of what he believed did not occur the evening Joe McKnight was murdered in a road rage incident. Normand attempted to dispel rumors that the shooter who was identified as Ronald Gasser that resides at his family home at 525 Wall Blvd. Gretna, LA did not walk up to the slain athlete and fire several shots while McKnight was on the ground but in fact fired the fatal shots while sitting inside his vehicle.
A witness earlier account suggested that Gasser walked over to McKnight’s body and said, “ I told you not to fuck with me…which the sheriff is stating that account is factually incorrect. The sheriff also said that there is no video available that will show what actually occurred but he stressed the case is not about race. One might ask, how does he know that if he wasn’t there when the shooting occurred or knows what was in Ronald Gasser’s heart at the time of the shooting?
There are many who believe that because Gasser was released the same night of the shooting without charges being filed does in fact suggest the decision was about race. If the tables were turned, would McKnight have been released that quickly for shooting Gasser, a white male for the same crime? Sheriff Normand also stated that there is no recording of McKnight apologizing to Gasser “so that did not happen” according to the sheriff. It is clear from Normand’s press conference and the actions that were taken after Joe McKnight’s death, a biased handling of the investigation does exist.
This isn’t Gasser’s first road rage incident according to police reports, back in 2006, Gasser chased a man down in his red pickup truck and spat on him from the other driver’s open window. John Shilling, who is a former Mississippi police officer stated he too had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with Gasser.
In an exclusive interview with the DailyMail, Shilling stated the following:
Shilling said that during the chilling encounter in 2006, Ronald Gasser spat at him through his open passenger side window after chasing him along a bridge.
Shilling said that he was disgusted, as he didn’t know if Gasser had AIDS or any other diseases.
Gasser got out of his truck and swore repeatedly at Shilling who managed to control his temper enough to stay in his vehicle – which he says could have saved his life.
Speaking from his home in Marrero, Louisiana, Shilling, 61, a former policeman, said:
‘Who knows if he had a gun in the truck then?’
‘First off there was a number on the side of the vehicle if he was driving irate and crazy.
‘I said to myself I was going to call his boss. I called the number and he was the boss. I said hey we’ve got a guy in a red truck. He said: ‘I am the guy in the red truck!’
‘It didn’t bother me. I said you’re driving like a fool. He sees me on the phone and realizes it’s me.
‘I pull off (the road) to get out the way, unlike the two of them (McKnight and Gasser). They stayed together.
Gasser was later charged with the crime of assault but the charges were dismissed and Shilling stated he didn’t know why?
With all this crucial information available to the Sheriff Normand, probable cause may have existed to charge Ronald Gasser of the crime of Voluntary Manslaughter for the killing of McKnight.
It must also be noted that Gasser has in fact had several run-ins with the police for traffic violations in the past.
McKnight is the second NFL player to die as a result of an apparent road rage incident in 2016. New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was killed in April. Cardell Hayes who is accused of killing Will Smith is currently in jail on a 1.75 million dollar bond while awaiting trial. Hayes stated during his arrest that he believed Smith was going to retrieve a firearm and he was just defending himself.