NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – An article published on GQ’s website gives the most comprehensive picture to date on the murder of former Saint Will Smith and his accused killer, Cardell Hayes.
The article, written by GQ correspondent Sean Flynn, takes you through every detail of the case – from the days and hours leading up to the shooting to the days and weeks after the shooting – and everything in between.
Hayes is charged with second-degree murder for Smith’s shooting death and attempted second-degree murder for shooting Smith’s wife, Racquel, twice in the leg.
The shooting happened in early April when Smith, his wife and a few of their friends were leaving a restaurant in the Garden District. Video shows Smith’s Mercedes bumping the back of Hayes’ Hummer on Magazine Street, prompting Hayes to follow Smith’s vehicle and smash into its rear.
An altercation ensued, and Hayes ultimately shot Smith seven times in the back and once in the side.
Flynn got interviews with several friends of Hayes, including Kevin O’Neal, a close friend of Hayes who was in the vehicle with Hayes the night he shot and killed Smith.
“A lot of people get shot in New Orleans. The city consistently has one of the ten highest murder rates in the country, and most victims die as anonymous statistics, significant only in the aggregate,” Flynn says. “Except when they are famous.”
“Unlike Will Smith, none of the 30 people murdered in New Orleans before April 9 this year were retired NFL defensive ends with Super Bowl rings. Famous people die famous deaths, and those need to be publicly explained. If Cardell Hayes didn’t know what happened, it was appallingly obvious to everyone else.”