Ronald Gasser, who shot and killed former USC and NFL player Joe McKnight last Thursday, has now been charged with manslaughter, according to the New Orleans Advocate. Gasser had originally been released after questioning the night of the shooting, while the investigation continued.
The killing was already described as a road rage incident, and manslaughter is defined as a killing in “sudden passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person of his self-control and cool reflection.”
As we discussed last week, the “Stand Your Ground” and self-defense laws will likely be invoked by the shooter. However, the Sheriff’s Department must have determined that enough evidence to overcome that defense emerged, from witness statements and the evidence about how the killing occurred. McKnight, for example, was shot through an open window while outside Gasser’s vehicle, suggesting that Gasser was not so fearful for his safety as not to roll down a window, and Gasser has a reported history of road rage incidents.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand will be holding a 10 a.m. press conference to further discuss the case.