The man who police say admitted to killing former NFL player Joe McKnight on Thursday has been released without being charged.
54-year-old Ronald Gasser was let go by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office overnight, after fatally shooting McKnight on Thursday afternoon during a road rage incident in Louisiana, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
On Friday, Sheriff Newell Normand shared more details on the arrest of Gasser and the ongoing investigation into the shooting. According to NBC's Pro Football Talk, Normand said,
The fact of the matter is that in trying to flesh out these details as it relates to all of this and not having that rush to judgment and doing this in a very deliberate and appropriate fashion, we chose not to do that. Of course, where that leads us at this point in time is that everybody wants to make this about race. This isn't about race. And I'll just throw this out folks so that everybody knows and there's no hiding the ball. The gentleman that raised Joe McKnight used to work for this office.
According New Orleans Fox affiliate WVUE, police say McKnight's murder resulted from an argument that may have been sparked by one driver cutting off the other.
WVUE also reported authorities claim that Gasser, from inside his own car, shot McKnight three times with a semi-automatic handgun while McKnght was standing outside.
A video that shows McKnight laying on the ground while CPR was administered to his body was release by NOLA.com.
After the shooting, Gasser reportedly waited for police to arrive, and handed in his firearm.
As for why Gasser was released without charge, New Orleans-based attorney Arthur Lemman told WVUE it could indicate the shooter claimed self-defense. Lemman said,
It's not the end of the matter. They can continue to investigate. They can always bring charges but what it indicates to me is that there was some basis to believe that the homicide was justified. And the most typical justification of a homicide is self-defense.
McKnight, who police say was unarmed on Thursday, was a standout at USC before he was selected by the New York Jets in the 2010 NFL Draft. His last appearance in the league came in 2014 for the Kansas City Chiefs.