Ronald Gasser, the man who fatally shot former NFL player Joe McKnight following a road rage incident last week, has been formally charged with manslaughter.
The charge comes just days after the New Orleans police department and city officials faced public backlash following the news that Gasser had initially been released as investigators looked into the incident for more facts regarding exactly what happened. The 54-year-old motorist was brought in for questioning immediately following the shooting last Thursday, but was let go much to the dismay of many in the community, considering Gasser confessed to shooting McKnight when law enforcement arrived on the scene.
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Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand defended the department’s decision not to “rush to judgment” on Friday amid criticism. “Everyone should pause and reflect and recognize that a rush to judgment does not equal anything,” Normand said. “The easiest thing for me would have been, ‘Book ‘em, Danno.’ But the fact of the matter is in trying to flesh out these details, we chose not to do that.”
The department previously cited the increasingly controversial Stand Your Ground law as reasoning for initially releasing Gasser.
According to the NYDN, Gasser was jailed on one count of manslaughter on Tuesday morning in connection with McKnight’s killing, which was reportedly the result of a road rage run-in gone wrong.