Lawyer reveals timeline on the night ‘enraged’ man killed former NFL player Will Smith

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(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“She considered him her Superman and that night, as he always does, was protecting her.”

Peter Thomson, the lawyer for the family of former Saints player Will Smith, delivered a message from Smith’s wife, Racquel, Wednesday at a press conference. Racquel Smith is still in a New Orleans hospital after police say Cardell Hayes shot her two times and her husband eight times, killing him.

Thomson set up a timeline for his client's version of the events that night:

  • Racquel and Will were at Sake Cafe with a large group of friends.
  • When they left, they got into their Mercedes SUV to drive another couple back to their car.  Thomson did not say who the other couple was.  But, he did confirm that Pierre Thomas was at Sake Cafe with the Smiths.  Thomson also said Will Smith was not inebriated to the point he couldn't drive.
  • As they were driving down Magazine St., a large Hummer with dark tinted windows came to a sudden stop.  They had to slam on the brakes.
  • Smith and the others in the SUV thought they hadn't hit Hummer and saw no damage.  So, they drove around the Hummer.
  • Suddenly, the Hummer rammed into their SUV from the back, shattering the back windshield.  The SUV hit a Chevy Impala in front of it.
  • Will Smith checked to make sure everyone was okay and then got out of the car.
  • A large man and a passenger got out of the Hummer and approached Will Smith.
  • Thomson says "some words are exchanged." He says the driver was enraged, yelling and cursing at Will Smith.
  • Racquel Smith and another woman approached Will Smith to diffuse the situation.
  • They feel like the situation is diffused and walk back to the car.
  • Thomson says "the killer" then shot at Will and Racquel twice, hitting Racquel in the legs.
  • Thomson says "the killer" then shot Will Smith eight times in the back and then yelled over Will Smith on the ground.

Thomson says Will Smith did have a gun in a compartment in the car.  But, Smith did not brandish or carry the gun.  Smith had a concealed handgun permit, according to Thomson.

Hayes' lawyer, John Fuller, has said that people were threatened by someone other than his client. Hayes is due in court April 28.