Man who says he shot CFL player is charged with manslaughter

By The Canadian Press
December 6, 2016 - 10:14am

HARVEY, La. — The man who says he fatally shot CFL player Joe McKnight has been arrested and jailed on a charge of manslaughter.

Ronald Gasser, 54, was arrested late Monday, after initially being released last week without charges pending further investigation, jail records show.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announced a news conference for 10 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the case. Normand has said Thursday's shooting was the result of an apparent road-rage incident.

When deputies arrived, the sheriff said Gasser handed them his gun and confessed to killing McKnight, who played running back for the Saskatchewan Roughriders last season.

Gasser shot McKnight three times from inside his car while McKnight stood outside and then gave his handgun to deputies when they arrived at the scene soon afterward, Normand said. Authorities said no weapon was found on or near McKnight's body.

McKnight is the second CFL player to be shot to death this year. Stampeders defensive back Mylan Hicks was killed outside a Calgary nightclub in September.

McKnight was signed to Saskatchewan's practice roster on Sept. 26, and he ran for 150 yards in his first CFL start on Oct. 15 as the Roughriders beat Toronto 29-11. He finished the 2016 season with 228 rushing yards and 80 receiving yards over five games with Edmonton and Saskatchewan.

McKnight played three seasons for the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs before moving to the CFL.

The Jets held a moment of silence Monday night before their game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium to honour the former running back.

McKnight was rated the No. 1 running back recruit in the U.S. when he came out of Louisiana in 2006 and signed with the University of Southern California. He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Jets in 2010 and played three seasons for New York. He spent one season with Kansas City.

McKnight had a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in 2011, and it remains the longest play in Jets history.

 

Rebecca Santana And Bill Fuller, The Associated Press

©2016 The Canadian Press

Funeral held today for Roughrider Joe McKnight

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