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Former New Orleans Saints Star Shot Dead in Apparent Road Rage Drama: Cops

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A former NFL star was killed this weekend in what police believe may have been a road rage related murder.

Will Smith, a defensive end who helped lead the Saints to victory in Super Bowl XLIV, was shot dead Saturday in New Orleans and police are questioning a driver who police say rear-ended the athlete.

Just hours earlier, the 2004 first round draft pick posted an Instagram photo with his wife and the message, "Having a blast at the #fqf2016," in a reference to the city's French Quarter Festival.

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According to the New Orleans Police, the trouble began after a Hummer hit Smith's vehicle from behind in New Orleans' Lower Garden District, causing Smith's vehicle to hit a Chevrolet in front of him.

A confrontation followed between Smith and the Hummer driver before police say the Hummer driver shot Smith dead. Smith's wife was shot multiple times in the leg but survived the incident.

Police say the Hummer driver remained at the scene and was subsequently taken in for questioning. On Sunday morning, New Orleans PD said they'd booked 28-year-old Cardell Hayes on second-degree murder in Smith's slaying.

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The weapon used in the shooting has been recovered, police said. The Coroner’s office will perform an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

On Sunday morning, New Orleans PD said they'd booked 28-year-old Cardell Hayes on second-degree murder in Smith's slaying.

Meanwhile, friends and loved ones took to social media to grieve for the New York native.

"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," publicist Lauren Renschler wrote on Twitter.

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