New Orleans Saints

Video shows possible hit-and-run between Will Smith, Cardell Hayes before shooting

BY MATT SLEDGE, JOHN SIMERMAN AND RAMON ANTONIO VARGAS

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New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, pictured in 2012, was fatally shot after a traffic accident in New Orleans.
New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, pictured in 2012, was fatally shot after a traffic accident in New Orleans. AP

New surveillance video obtained by WVUE-TV in New Orleans shows the Mercedes SUV matching the description of one driven by Will Smith possibly hitting the back of Cardell Hayes' Hummer soon after Smith finished dinner in the Lower Garden District on Saturday.

The video also shows the Hummer pulling over after the potential collision. At that point, the SUV can be seen fleeing the possible accident scene. The Hummer then followed the SUV, the surveillance videos show.

Jay Daniels, one of Cardell Hayes' two attorneys, said the video footage WVUE-TV aired late Monday "is consistent with the information that we have."

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Daniels, though, declined to comment on the matter further, saying, "I am more of the opinion that to continue this public discourse would not be in the best interest of Mr. Hayes or in showing the proper respect to both families involved."

"I think the video speaks for itself," Daniels said. "Mr. Hayes and those who are involved in his representation are looking forward to things coming out in court."

New Orleans police's account of the incident says Smith was driving on Sophie Wright Place when his silver Mercedes G63 SUV was struck from behind by Hayes’ orange Hummer H2. The collision caused the Mercedes to strike the rear of a dark Chevrolet Impala in which were two people described as acquaintances of Smith.

Police said that, after Smith and Hayes got out of their vehicles and exchanged words, Hayes drew a handgun and shot Smith multiple times.

But on Monday, Fuller outlined a different version of the night’s events that he said began with an earlier incident, a hit-and-run involving Hayes’ vehicle in which the other driver sped off.

Fuller refused to say whose car had first hit Hayes’ Hummer, but he said the collision at Sophie Wright Place happened when Hayes was in pursuit of the license plate number of the hit-and-run driver.

Additionally, Fuller has argued there is "evidence" there may have been a second gun on the scene and that Hayes "felt threatened." Fuller has also said Hayes "was not the aggressor" during the incident that left Smith dead.

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