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Police found loaded gun in shot American footballer Will Smith's Mercedes

Will Smith pictured before a game against the New York Giants in 2012 (AP)
Will Smith pictured before a game against the New York Giants in 2012 (AP)

Police found a fully loaded gun inside the vehicle former American footballer Will Smith was driving the night he was shot, but there was no evidence it had been fired.

New Orleans police shed new light on the shocking death of the New Orleans Saints star who was shot and killed on Saturday night.

Police have said that Smith and his wife were shot by Cardell Hayes after a traffic altercation.

It also emerged that Hayes told police at the scene that he was the shooter, and police also found a loaded revolver inside his vehicle.

Smith had two other passengers in his Mercedes SUV in addition to his wife, although neither was wounded.

The authorities said there was no evidence to suggest either weapon found during a search of the vehicles was fired during the shooting.

Will Smith pictured playing for New Orleans Saints against Indianapolis Colts in 2011 (AP)
Will Smith pictured playing for New Orleans Saints against Indianapolis Colts in 2011 (AP)

Police did not say whether the .9mm handgun belonged to Smith or someone else in the vehicle.

"During the argument, Hayes produced a .45 calibre handgun and opened fire, striking Smith and his wife. No-one else was injured in the gunfire," police said.

Smith's wife was shot in the leg but survived and was taken to the hospital.

"Hayes was on the scene when officers arrived and identified himself as the shooter," police said.

"Detectives detained and questioned Hayes. Based on the interview and evidence gathered from the scene, detectives arrested Hayes and booked him with second degree murder. An additional charge for Smith's wife's injury is pending further investigation."

Smith and his wife were driving in the Lower Garden District, an upmarket part of the city, when their vehicle was hit from behind by an orange Hummer driven by Hayes, police say.

The impact caused Smith to hit a grey Chevrolet Impala in which two friends of Smith were driving. No-one was injured in the Impala.

A defence lawyer for Hayes, John Fuller, has insisted he will be vindicated once the full story emerges.

Hayes, 28, is being held on $1m bond.

Press Association

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