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Former Ohio State DE Will Smith Killed Following Shooting in New Orleans

Ohio State fans today are mourning the loss of former Buckeye Will Smith, who was killed late Saturday night in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District.

ESPN’s Saints writer Mike Triplett has the story about Smith’s passing:

Smith was shot to death in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District on Saturday night following a traffic collision, the coroner’s office confirmed.

Smith, 34, was shot after exchanging words with the driver of a Hummer H2 that rear-ended his Mercedes G63 SUV, causing him to strike another vehicle, police said.

Smith was shot multiple times, and his wife, Racquel, also 34, was shot twice in the right leg, according to police. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene, while his wife was taken to a hospital.

Smith’s family released a statement Sunday morning.

“On behalf of the Smith family, we are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers. We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend.”

Police said the 30-year-old driver of the Hummer was in custody and being interviewed, and that the handgun used in the shooting had been recovered.

Smith played for the Buckeyes on their BCS title team in 2002, and was a first-team All-American and Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, in 2003.

He was the Saints first-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, 18th overall.

Saints coach Sean Payton tweeted out about the death of one of his former players:

Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

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