Former officer and friend of Will Smith submits DNA, says he was never in Smith’s SUV

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Billy Ceravolo, left, Pierre Thomas, and Will Smith take a picture together not long before Smith was fatally shot April 9

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The retired New Orleans police officer who had dinner with former Saint Will Smith the night he was shot to death in the Garden District asked police to take a DNA sample from him to prove he was never in Smith’s vehicle the night of the shooting.

Billy Ceravolo, a former officer who went to the scene after the shooting happened, suggested that the DNA sample be taken after attorneys for the shooting suspect, Cardell Hayes, said Ceravolo might have taken a gun out of Smith’s Mercedes SUV after the shooting took place.

Ceravolo’s attorney, Tanya Picou Faia, said Ceravolo has never been in Smith’s vehicle, not the night of the shooting or any other time before the shooting.

Faia said she and Ceravolo requested that the DNA sample be taken, and also requested that the shirt worn by Ceravolo the night of the shooting be entered as evidence in the case.

Cardell Hayes, the man charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Will and Racquel Smith

Cardell Hayes, the man charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Will and Racquel Smith

Early last week, a few days before Hayes was indicted on murder charges, Ceravolo found a small amount of blood on the shirt he was wearing the night of the shooting, Faia said.

She asked NOPD to take the shirt and test the blood to confirm that it is the blood of Smith’s wife, Racquel. Racquel Smith was shot twice in the legs. Faia said Ceravolo immediately went to Racquel when he got to the scene.

Smith was shot to death April 9 after a minor three-car crash near the corner of Felicity Street and Sophie Wright Place.

Surveillance video shows that Smith might have been involved in a hit-and-run with Hayes before the three-car crash.

Hayes and Smith were in an altercation before Hayes allegedly shot Smith to death and injured Racquel Smith. Will Smith was shot seven times in the back and once in the chest.