cardell-hayes-former New Orleans Saints player will-smith

Cordell Hayes (right) is accused of murdering Will Smith (right)

*Looks like there’s more than meets the eye regarding the fatal shooting of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith.

On Sunday, New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison  stated that although authorities had no information leading them to believe that Smith and the alleged shooter, Cordell Hayes knew each other prior to the shooting, a connection does exist between the men in the form of former-New Orleans police officer William Ceravolo, ABC News reports.

Smith died Saturday (April 9) after being shot numerous times by Hayes during an apparent road rage incident. Smith’s wife, Raquel Smith, was also shot by Hayes. She received two gunshot wounds to her leg.

About an hour before the shooting, which occurred in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District, Smith was dining with Saints running back Pierre Thomas and Ceravolo.

As for the connection between Ceravolo and Hayes, it goes back to a lawsuit Hayes filed in 2006 against the city of New Orleans and several New Orleans police officers in connection with the deadly shooting of his father, Anthony Hayes. Among the officers named in the suit was Ceravolo.

The suit reveals that Anthony Hayes was carrying a knife when officers shot him in December 2005. The case was ultimately settled in 2011 for an undisclosed amount of money, according to the New Orleans Advocate. In an interview with ABC News, Ceravolo confirmed that he was friends with Smith and had dinner with the football star the night of the shooting.

Hayes was later arrested and charged with second-degree murder once cops arrived on the scene. Commenting on his client, Hayes’ temporary attorney John Fuller pointed out how Hayes remained on the scene, telling ABC News, “Not only did my client call 911, but my client secured a witness who was about to leave the scene and my client waited for law enforcement to arrive.”

Fuller went on to say that Hayes was the victim of a hit-and-run just moments before and was chasing the cars to get their license plate numbers. He mentioned that Hayes called 911 to report the hit-and-run before the accident with Smith.

At this time, Hayes is being held on a $1 million bond.

Providing more details on the incident, media sources acknowledge a road rage incident took place as they report that Smith was also shot in the back and the torso, with his body found laying partially inside of his car.