Will Smith, 34, the former defensive end for the New Orleans Saints, was tragically killed on Saturday night in what is being called a road rage incident. His wife Racquel, 34, was with him. She was shot in the leg and had to be taken to the hospital. How long were Racquel and Will married? Do they have any children?
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Racquel Was Shot in the Leg & Wounded in the Shooting That Killed Her Husband
Will Smith, formerly a defensive end for the New Orleans Saints, was shot and killed late Saturday night in New Orleans, police told the Times-Picayune. A woman with him, whom witnesses told NOLA.com staff photographer was his his wife, was shot in the leg. The shooting took place around 11:29 p.m. near Sophie Wright and Felicity streets, according to the Times-Picayune.
Smith was shot to death in his car. A witness said she heard six to eight gunshots. Smith was found unconscious over the steering wheel in a silver SUV, according to NOLA. Racquel was taken to the hospital.
The two were on their way home after having dinner at Sake Cafe. The Mercedes Benz SUV they were driving was rear-ended by a Hummer H2. After Smith was rear-ended, he then hit a Chevrolet Impala. Smith and the driver of the Hummer exchanged words and the Hummer driver then shot Will multiple times and shot Racquel in the leg, The Washington Post reported.
2. The Motive for the Shooting May Have Been Road Rage
The motive for the double shooting may have been road rage. Will Smith was shot and killed at the scene. Racquel was shot at least once in the leg and had to be taken to the hospital. Former Saints teammate Pierre Thomas was with them at the time of the shooting, but he was not harmed.
The man accused of shooting the Smiths stayed at the scene. Police released his name: Cardell Hayes, a 28-year-old. He was booked Sunday morning on a second-degree murder charge, The Washington Post reported. (Read more about Cardell here.)
It later was revealed that Cardell had second-hand connections to Will Smith. Smith had been eating dinner with a police officer that Cardell had named in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit over the shooting death of his dad, Anthony Hayes. It’s not known if Cardell targeted Will Smith due to the connection or if it was a coincidence. (To read more about Anthony Hayes, please see this story.)
3. Will & Racquel Have 3 Children
Will and Racquel Smith have three children (some sources say that one of Will Smith’s children is from a previous relationship, some say all three are Racquel and Will’s.) Their children are Wynter Chase Smith, William J. Smith, and Lisa Mya Smith.
Racquel and Will were married in 2008 at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans. It was the same year that Smith signed a seven-year, $63 million contract extension, NFL.com reported.
4. Racquel Often Talks About Her Children on Social Media
Racquel appears to be a happy mom who loves her children. She often shares happy posts about them on Twitter and Instagram. She proudly shares their accomplishments, such as when they appear in school plays or are part of a basketball team. She always leaves excited comments about their latests achievements.
5. In 2010, Will Smith Was Arrested on Domestic Abuse Charges, but Racquel Said It Was All a Misunderstanding
Back in 2010, Will Smith was arrested and charged with domestic battery for allegedly grabbing Racquel by the hair in a club in Lafayette, The Times-Picayune reported. Police said they got into an argument around 2 a.m. and he was seen pulling her down the street by her hair. The day after the arrest, Racquel took to Twitter to let people know that everything had been a big misunderstanding. “My husband and I are fine and this is all bs,” she wrote. She added that she loved Will Smith and that they are a strong couple. “Love conquers all,” she said. The charges against Smith were later dismissed after he participated in counseling and community service.