New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was fatally shot dead in an apparent incident of road rage and Cardell Hayes, who has been accused of the crime has been described by coaches as a ‘good person,’ ‘leader,‘. Will Smith was shot dead fatally in a Mercedes SUV on Camp Street in the lower Garden District on Saturday night, April 9, 2016

Cardell Hayes, the man, accused of fatally shooting dead the former NFL star Will Smith has been described as a peace-loving leader who played on two football teams in a career spanning over 15 years.

Fred Washington, who said he coached Cardell Hayes, 28 never found him ever lose his temper and was a good football player and a good person. Hayes was a member of a developmental football team in New Orleans called the Crescent City Kings.

Similar views about Hayes were also expressed by Lee Green, who had coached Hayes from 2001 to 2004 at the Warren Easton High School and described Hayes as a defensive tackle who attracted interest from Division I college programs though he did not play college football.

Green added that Hayes had seen a five-year-old son, and he saw him last in the team’s preseason practice Thursday night and did not see anything unusual in his behavior.

Hayes worked as an Automotive Worker for a living and when he was not playing.

The accident itself was very minor and the impact barely loud enough to wake sleeping residents. The Mercedes-Benz SUV was rear-ended by an Orange Hummer, and Will Smith was in the drivers’ seat of the SUV.

Residents of the are still in a state of shock and disbelief and fondly reminisced how the former Saints defensive end with his formidable pass had helped the franchise win a Super Bowl victory in 2009.