Ronald Gasser, the man who admitted to shooting and killing former NFL player Joe McKnight in an apparent road rage incident, has been arrested on a count of manslaughter. He is being held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, according to the online inmate search.
Ramon Antonio Vargas of the New Orleans Advocate first reported the news this morning. Gasser was arrested Monday, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office website.
The JPSO had initially taken Gasser into custody on Thursday, the day of the shooting, but released Gasser that night with no charges. Sheriff Newell Normand had said in a press conference Friday that officials would take their time with the investigation, and do it “in the appropriate way.”
The JPSO will hold a press conference later this morning.
Update (12:59 p.m. ET): Normand provided an update to the investigation and gave a summary of the incident in today’s presser.
A witness said that the altercation started when McKnight cut Gasser off. Gasser was “irritated” and “set out after” McKnight. Normand said that the two “engaged each other many times.” Eventually, Gasser drove in front of McKnight; McKnight pulled to Gasser’s right, with other vehicles surrounding them. Both men rolled their windows down and kept arguing, until McKnight got out of his vehicle and leaned into the window in Gasser’s vehicle. Normand said that’s when Gasser pulled out his gun and shot McKnight three times.
According to Normand, McKnight had a gun in his vehicle, but officials had no reason to believe that he ever insinuated that he had a gun or threatened to use it against Gasser. The gun and vehicle both belonged to McKnight’s stepfather.
The sheriff said that officials had 10 hours of non-custodial interviews and two hours of custodial interviews with Gasser, who didn’t ask for an attorney. Normand added that officials had 160 interviews related to the case since Thursday, and criticized those who were critical of law enforcement.
Normand took a significant portion of his time to a condemn some of the national reaction to the story. For the second time, he said that a witness lied when they claimed that McKnight was apologizing as Gasser shot him, after which Gasser stood over his body as he said, “I told you don’t fuck with me,” before shooting again. “Shame on that individual,” Normand said.
To add detail to his argument, Normand read an anonymous internet comment out loud directed at one of his colleagues, that included the insults “you punk-ass Uncle Tom coon” and “rat-ass faggot punk.” When asked by a reporter why he read those comments, and if he understood why a case with a white man shooting a young black man would be so nationally scrutinized, Normand cited black-on-black crime statistics for the parish. “If you want to look at the statistical data, your fear is somewhere else,” Normand said.
Manslaughter in Louisiana has a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.