The Latest: Attorney: Will Smith did not brandish gun

Gabriella Ortiz
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the shooting death of football star Will Smith (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

An attorney for the family of Will Smith says the former New Orleans Saints star did not brandish a gun or have it on him before he was shot to death.

Peter Thompson, an attorney for the Smith family, gave an account of the shooting Wednesday based on his interviews with witnesses. He says Smith had a license to carry a concealed weapon but never threatened the man who shot him, Cardell Hayes, with the pistol.

Police said Tuesday that they found a 9 mm pistol in Smith’s car after he was shot to death Saturday night. His wife, Racquel, also was shot in the leg and wounded.

Thompson also disputed reports that the Mercedes Smith was driving hit Hayes’ Hummer before the shooting. He says Smith and his passengers drove away after slamming on their brakes behind the Hummer, believing they did not hit the vehicle.

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11 a.m.

The lawyer for a man who was in the car with the person who shot former football player Will Smith says the killing was “justifiable homicide.”

NBC reports that the statement came from attorney Tanzanika Ruffin on behalf of the passenger, Kevin O’Neal.

O’Neal was in the SUV with Cardell Hayes, who was arrested on a second-degree murder charge after Saturday night’s shooting in New Orleans.

Ruffin says O’Neal believes his life was saved by Hayes because, in Ruffin’s words, “Smith had a gun and was going to shoot it.”

Police confirmed Tuesday that a loaded gun was found in Smith’s vehicle after the shooting.

Hayes’ lawyer has insisted that Hayes was not the aggressor in the shooting.

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8 a.m.

As family, friends and fans prepare to say goodbye to football star Will Smith, police have released new details in his death.

In a statement late Tuesday, police shed more light on the Saturday night shooting, in which police say Cardell Hayes shot and killed Smith and wounded his wife after a traffic incident.

Police say they found a loaded .9 mm handgun in Smith’s vehicle, but there was no indication it was fired. Police also say Hayes told police when they arrived that he was the shooter. They also found a revolver in his vehicle.

But police said Tuesday that he used another weapon, a .45, to shoot Smith and his wife.

A visitation for fans will be held Friday. A private funeral service is set for Saturday.

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