Surveillance video near scene of fatal shooting of ex-NFLer Will Smith shows possible hit-and-run

Surveillance footage near the site of the fatal shooting of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith may shed new light on the events leading to his death.

Police said the man arrested in the case, Cardell Hayes, a former semi-pro football player, rear ended Smith’s Mercedes with his Humvee H2, pushing Smith’s big, blocky SUV into a Chevrolet Impala, before a man opened fire, killing Smith.

WATCH: New surveillance video could shed light on moments leading to former NFL player’s death

However, surveillance video obtained by FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans appears to show the moment that led to the fatal shooting: it shows a vehicle matching the police description of Hayes’ Humvee stopping abruptly. A second SUV, which appears to match the description of Smith’s Mercedes, is seen bumping into the rear of the Humvee.

READ MORE: New Orleans mourns ex-Saints player Will Smith after ‘road rage’ shooting death

The video shows the Humvee pull over to the side of the street while the Mercedes speeds off. The Humvee then appears to speed off, apparently following the Mercedes.

A Chevrolet Impala is not seen in the video. The video was shot by a restaurant’s security camera two blocks from the scene of the shooting and most likely will be a focus of the investigation.

WATCH: New Orleans, larger NFL community in mourning following death of Will Smith


On Monday, a defense attorney for Hayes, John Fuller, said there’s more to the story: He said Hayes had been rear-ended moments earlier by a hit-and-run driver, and called 911 to describe the car he was following before he ran into the back of Smith’s Mercedes.

Police said the two men then angrily confronted each other shortly before midnight Saturday. Moments later, witnesses heard gunfire. Smith was killed by bullets to the back and torso. His wife was wounded in the leg.

Police arrested Hayes at the scene of the shooting on a charge of second-degree murder.

READ MORE: Former Saints defensive end Will Smith shot and killed

Fuller insisted outside court Monday that Hayes will be vindicated once the full story emerges. Someone “besides my client” was behaving in a threatening manner, he said, though he wouldn’t say who. “My client has been pilloried, convicted and tried” by news media and social media, he added.

Hayes’ attorney said his client will plead not guilty.

A New Orleans Police spokesperson couldn’t comment to Global News on the surveillance video as “it’s an ongoing investigation.”

with files from The Associated Press