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Former Saints DE Will Smith shot and killed in New Orleans

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A senseless killing claims the life of the Buckeye and Saints great.

Mark Lyons/Getty Images

As first reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, former Ohio State standout Will Smith was the victim of a fatal shooting in the Big Easy late Saturday night. Smith's wife was wounded but is expected to survive her injuries. Smith was 34.

A spokesman for the New Orleans Police Department said preliminary findings suggested the incident was road rage related. According to a police statement, Smith's car was rear ended causing it to hit another vehicle. After Smith and the driver exchanged words, the driver of the vehicle that rear ended him shot Smith multiple times and his wife twice. He was pronounced dead on the scene and his wife was transported to a local hospital. The suspected shooter is in custody in connection with the events that unfolded.

A former first rounder, Smith spent almost his entire professional career with the Saints. After being released in 2014, Smith signed with the Patriots but was cut before the regular season began. He never played professional football again.

A Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl champion with the Saints, Smith was also a member of the Buckeyes' 2002 college football national championship team.

Per New Orleans Police, the shooting took place just blocks from the city's annual French Quarter Festival. Smith had posted an Instagram photo about his experience at the event only hours earlier.