Former Ohio State, NFL star Will Smith, 34, shot to death

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ohio State, NFL star Will Smith, 34, shot to death

 Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ohio State and NFL standout Will Smith was murdered following a traffic accident late Saturday night in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District. Smith, a father of three, was 34.

[ MORE: Read OhioStateBuckeyes.com’s full release ]

According to New Orleans Police, Smith’s car was struck from behind by an orange Hummer H2, and his vehicle then struck the car in front of his as well. Police say Smith and the driver of the Hummer “exchanged words,” before the driver of the Hummer pulled out a gun and shot Smith multiple times.

Smith’s wife, Racquel, was shot twice in the leg.

“Heavy Hearts with the senseless passing of our Team Capt. Will Smith,” Saints head coach Sean Payton posted on Twitter Sunday. “Pray for his wife’s recovery and their children.”

The family also released a statement: “On behalf of the Smith family, we are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers. We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend.”

Smith won a championship in college (2002 BCS crown, Ohio State’s first football title in 34 years) and in the NFL (Super Bowl XLIV). He was a team captain and a first-team All-America in 2003 and left Columbus, Ohio, ranked fifth on Ohio State’s all-time charts in career tackles for loss (45.5) and sixth in sacks (22.0) before enjoying a successful nine-year NFL career.

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Here’s Twitter reaction to Smith’s death.

h/t @11W

 

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