Ronald Gasser jailed on manslaughter charge for death of Joe McKnight

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Ronald Gasser

NEW ORLEANS, La. -– Ronald Gasser, accused of shooting and killing Joe McKnight, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Gasser was arrested on December 5, and his released while an investigation was underway.

McKnight was fatally shot during an apparent road-rage incident while standing beside a man’s car at a suburban New Orleans intersection, authorities said Friday.

McKnight, a former NFL running back, was fatally shot during an apparent road-rage incident while standing beside a man’s car at a suburban New Orleans intersection, authorities said.

McKnight, 28, who played for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, and Ronald Gasser apparently became involved in a Thursday afternoon incident on the Crescent City Connection, formerly known as the Greater New Orleans Bridge, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said at a news conference.

The problem may have been that one man cut the other off in traffic, Normand said.

One driver followed the other to an intersection in Terrytown, where McKnight parked his Audi Q7 SUV on the right shoulder of the road, a sheriff’s office news release said. Gasser’s Infiniti G37 two-door sedan was in the right lane and parallel to the SUV, the release said.

Gasser’s Infiniti G37 two-door sedan was in the right lane and parallel to the SUV, the release said.

Witnesses said the two were “in a heated verbal exchange” from their vehicles, officials said.

At some point, Gasser “discharged three rounds from a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun from the driver’s seat of the blue Infiniti through the open passenger window. These rounds struck (McKnight), who had previously exited the gray Audi Q7 and was positioned at the passenger window of the Infiniti,” the release said.

Gasser remained at the scene, handed over his weapon to authorities and admitted to shooting McKnight, Normand said. No gun was found in McKnight’s possession, Normand said.

Normand said Gasser, 54, was released from custody Thursday night.

In explaining why Gasser was allowed to leave, Normand said authorities need to talk to more witnesses.

“If you make a rush to judgment and you make a strategic or tactical error from the beginning (it’s) very hard to recover later,” he said.

Normand said an arrest triggers court hearings at which evidence must be revealed. “We did not want to get to that threshold at that point in time,” he said.

He said that the stand-your-ground law “is one of the issues that looms on the horizon. …”