The passenger who rode with Cardell Hayes before former Saints player Will Smith was shot and killed on Saturday believed Hayes saved his life.
Kevin Oneale, who was inside Hayes’ Hummer H2, exposed himself and expressed his stand in the shooting incident.
WDSU News reported that Attorney Tanzanike Ruffin issued the following statement to NBA News:
“My client believes that Cardell saved his life.” Ruffin said. “Smith had a gun and was going to shoot it and Cardell may have saved both of their lives … in my mind this is justifiable homicide. Was Will Smith acting like a saint? This was a hit-and-run that ended up in a tragedy. You’ve got the aggression of two football players, facing off with each other as if they are on the field and you are going to get your point across by any means necessary.”
Attorney Tanzanike Ruffin represents Kevin Oneale, who was in Hayes’ Hummer H2 when Hayes ran into Smith’s Mercedes SUV near the intersection of Sophie Wright Place and Felicity Street. Witnesses said Hayes and Smith argued loudly and the argument ended when Hayes shot Smith while Smith was “partially in his vehicle,” according to the NOPD.
WDSU News reported that a video surveillance from Juan’s Flying Burrito on Magazine Street captured a silver SUV rear-ending a Hummer. The Hummer stopped but the silver SUV drive off. The said cars caught on the video was confirmed to be Hayes’ and Smith’s.
After making an inspection on both Smith’s and Hayes cars, New Orleans police reported on Tuesday that they found a 9-millimeter handgun inside Will Smith’s SUV an a revolver on Cardell Hayes’ Hummer but there were no trace indicating that the guns were used.
Hayes was charged with a second-degree murder and additional charges were expected to be filed against him since Will Smith’s wife, Racquel Smith, was also shot in the leg during the shooting incident.
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