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Paper: Former NFL player McKnight shot dead in Louisiana

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(Reuters) - Former National Football League player Joe McKnight was shot and killed on Thursday in his native Louisiana in what officials are investigating as a road rage incident.

The shooting occurred around 3 p.m. local time at a traffic intersection in Terrytown, just outside New Orleans, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Colonel John Fortunato said.

The shooting suspect, 54-year-old Ronald Gasser, was taken into custody and was being questioned by investigators, Fortunato said.

See social reactions to McKnight's death:

26 PHOTOS
Social media reaction to Joe McKnight's death
See Gallery
Social media reaction to Joe McKnight's death
Rest in peace, Joe McKnight. Our thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones. https://t.co/vtEihPomt9
Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe McKnight and his family. This is a heartbreaking loss.
#FightOnForever Joe McKnight. The former USC running back was shot and killed today in Louisiana. https://t.co/6gPTBCHz5A
RIP my brother Joe McKnight this one hurts bad
Saddens me to hear the news about Joe McKnight. Our prayers go out to the McKnight family.
Deeply saddened by the loss of Joe McKnight. This is a terrible tragedy. Everyone loved Joe and we are going to really miss him.
RIP Joe https://t.co/lpDjfNb128
Just got a message saying my former teammate Joe McKnight was killed today. This hurt to the heart. I can't stop crying. #RestInPeace
Can't believe my boy gone S.I.P Joe McKnight
This is just ridiculous smh it needs to stop! My condolences to Joe McKnight's family πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ™πŸΏ
RIP Joe McKnight ... Prayers up 2 the family..πŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎ
I am deeply saddened by the senseless passing of Joe McKnight today. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
News about Joe Mcknight is devastating. Just at a loss of words!
R.I.P. Joe McKnight.. One of the reasons I wore number 4.. crazy world
Everybody in the world wanted to be @ReggieBush , us in New Orleans wanted to run the ball like Joe McKnight.
RIP to a SC legend ! Joe McKnight πŸ™πŸΎ https://t.co/7pa3iaaBGN
Rest In Peace to my bro Joe McKnight...this is unbelievable. Fly with the angels bro and rest in paradise. Heaven gained a real one today.
R.I.P Joe McKnight πŸ‘ΌπŸΎ https://t.co/XC8KsTHDhb
Back in 2011, Joe told me he just loved when he heard the J-E-T-S chants. Said it gave him chills every time. 28-Years-Old. #RIP
I jus keep wishing this is a bad dream!!!
Sad, sad world... #RIP Joe McKnight
Rest in peace joe McKnight. Very sad to hear the news today. A great humble guy that was taken far to early. Condolences to the mcknights
Just woke up to hear some disturbing news. My condolences goes out to Joe McKnight. #RestInPeace #jetfamily https://t.co/GHkBtK9HMN
RIP Joe McKnight. I was able to watch my hometown phenom here at USC. Killed in our hometown of metro New Orleans. We are in crisis NOLA
My heart is heavy for Jets Nation tonight. Such a senseless act. RIP Joe McKnight. Once a Jet always a Jet 🏈
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The 28-year-old McKnight played for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs during his five-year career in the NFL. His last season in the league was in 2014, and he has since played as a running back for the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Tributes poured in on social media from McKnight's former NFL colleagues in response to the deadly shooting.

Reggie Bush, a running back for the Buffalo Bills who played college football for McKnight's alma mater the University of Southern California, tweeted, "RIP my brother Joe McKnight this one hurts bad."

Former New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie also lamented the loss, saying in a tweet, "Just got a message saying my former teammate Joe McKnight was killed today. This hurt to the heart. I can't stop crying."

Another former NFL player, Will Smith, was shot dead in New Orleans near the city's famed French Quarter earlier this year.

See images of McKnight:

20 PHOTOS
Former NFL player Joe McKnight
See Gallery
Former NFL player Joe McKnight

Running Back Joe McKnight #25 of the New York Jets follows the action against the Miami Dolphins when the Miami Dolphins host the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.Jets beat the Dolphins, 23-20, in Overtime.

(Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)

Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe McKnight (22) scores a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in the game at Sun Life Stadium. The Chiefs defeated the Dolphins 34-15.

(Brad Barr/USA TODAY Sports)

Runningback Joe McKnight #4 of the USC Trojans carries the ball against the UCLA Bruins during the college football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 1, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. The Trojans defeated the Bruins 24-7.

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

New York Jets Tim Tebow hands the ball off to Joe McKnight in the first quarter during their NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in East Rutherford, New Jersey, September 9, 2012.

(REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)

USC's Joe McKnight (4), celebrates his second quarter touchdown with teammate Damian Williams against Notre Dame in Los Angeles November 29, 2008.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Joe McKnight #25 of the New York Jets sits dejected after being defeated 24 to 19 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Head Coach Pete Carroll of the USC Trojans congratulates his player Joe McKnight #4 after McKnight scored a touchdown in the third quarter during the Rose Bowl presented by Citi against the Illinois Fighting Illini at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2008 in Pasadena, California.

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

New York Jets running back Joe McKnight (25) leaves the field after an injury during the second half of their NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland, December 4, 2011.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

University of Southern California tailback Joe McKnight (4) scores a two-point conversion as David Ausberry (9) watches as McKnight is hit by Ohio State University defender Devon Torrence (R) during the fourth quarter of their NCAA football game in Columbus, Ohio, September 12, 2009.

(REUTERS/Matt Sullivan)

The USC Trojans' Joe McKnight (2nd L) runs between Penn State Nittany Lions' Lydell Sargeant (L), Anthony Scirrotto (2nd R) and Navorro Bowman (R) during the second quarter at the 95th Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California, January 1, 2009.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

University of Southern California running back Joe McKnight scores a touchdown on a long run against Notre Dame in the fourth quarter of their NCAA football game in South Bend, Indiana, October 20, 2007.

(REUTERS/Frank Polich)

Joe McKnight #25 of the New York Jets looks on against the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Chragers defeated the Jets 27-17.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

USC's Joe McKnight walks off the field as fans celebrate the Oregon Ducks win in Eugene, Oregon Saturday.

(Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Running Back Joe McKnight #25 of the New York Jets watches the action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Jets beat the bills, 38-14.

(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)

Joe McKnight of USC reacts to returning a punt for 45 yards against the Arizona Wildcats at Memorial Coliseum.

(Photo by Charles Baus /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

Joe McKnight #25 of the New York Jets returns a kick during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York.

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Running back Joe McKnight #22 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Junior Hemmingway #88 after scoring a third-quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

New York Jets running back Joe McKnight avoids a tackle from the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin (22) during the second quarter of their NFL preseason football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 30, 2012.

(REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

Joe McKnight #25 of the New York Jets and Jeremy Kerley #11 walk to the field before the start of the Jets game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 4, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Smith, one of the NFL's top defensive ends before his 2014 retirement, was returning from a dinner with his wife on April 9 when police say a Hummer driven by Cardell Hayes struck the rear of Smith's Mercedes SUV and caused it to crash into another vehicle.

The two men exited their cars and exchanged words before Hayes drew a weapon and fired multiple shots, police said. Smith, 34, was hit by gunfire eight times and pronounced dead on the scene. Smith's wife, Racquel, was shot twice in the leg and survived.

Hayes has pleaded not guilty to charges including second-degree murder and attempted murder.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Andrew Hay)

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