Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Former USC running back Joe McKnight was shot and killed Thursday near New Orleans in what was being investigated as a road rage incident.

McKnight, 28, was shot multiple times at about 2:45 p.m. Central Standard Time in Terrytown, Louisiana, and was pronounced dead at the scene, Col. John Fortunato of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office told City News Service.

A man identified as 54-year-old Ronald Gasser was taken into custody for questioning, Fortunato said.

A witness told The Times-Picayune that she left a store and saw a man in an intersection yelling at another man who was trying to apologize. The man who was yelling opened fire, at one point standing over the victim and firing again, said the witness, who declined to give her name.

There was no indication that McKnight had a gun, though a search of his vehicle was pending, according to The Times-Picayune.

“Saddens me to hear the news about Joe McKnight,” tweeted USC Coach Clay Helton. “Our prayers go out to the McKnight family.”

McKnight played for the Trojans from 2007-2010. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, with whom he played for three seasons. He missed the 2013 season after being released by the Jets, then played an injury-shortened season with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014. He played this year for the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

“Deeply saddened by the loss of Joe McKnight,” tweeted Pete Carroll, McKnight’s coach at USC, who now coaches the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. “This is a terrible tragedy. Everyone loved Joe and we are going to really miss him.”

–City News Service 

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