Ronald Gasser

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand gave a press conference a short time ago regarding the shooting of former NFL running back Joe McKnight by Ronald Gasser that is 100% at odds with claims reported by eyewitnesses to news outlets in Louisiana that we told you about this morning.

Those early accounts suggested that the relatively tall and slim Gasser physically pulled McKnight out of his vehicle, shot him to the ground, and then made a profane statement before killing him with a coup de grâce.

We cautioned at the time:

Keep in mind that eyewitness statements are often somewhere on the spectrum of incredibly inaccurate to outright fabrications.

Sadly, it appears that those “eyewitness” statements are outright lies.

Those “eyewitness accounts” are in direct conflict with at least some of the evidence in the case that Sheriff Normand was willing to discuss, if only to knock down rumors.

Joe McKnight was shot and killed from shots fired from inside the car of Ronald Gasser, and reports that Gasser stood over the former football star’s body are untrue, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said Friday.

Gasser did admit to shooting McKnight, said Normand, who also clarified that there are no witness accounts of McKnight apologizing to Gasser.

Asked why Gasser was released from custody, Normand cautioned the public not to “rush to judgment.”

The highly anticipated remarks from Normand come a day after Gasser shot and killed McKnight at a busy Terrytown intersection.

At one point during the news conference, Normand referenced Louisiana’s stand your ground law and said it “looms on the horizon” of the investigation. But Normand then stopped himself, saying he needed to avoid making statements that could sway information from witnesses who haven’t yet been interviewed.

After hearing the revelation from Sheriff Normand’s press conference that Gasser fired from inside the vehicle, I took a closer look at the photo of Mr. Gasser provided in the press department handout.

Ronald Gasser

 

Ronald Gasser car window

Does the driver’s side glass in the photo look shattered to you? It appears that way to me.

This strongly suggests that Mr. Gasser fired through his driver’s window, which means Joe McKnight got out of his vehicle and came around to the driver’s side of Mr. Gasser’s car.

I’d caution that this does not in any way mean that Mr. Gasser’s decision to fire three shots into Mr. McKnight was legally justified—it’s still far to early to know if he has a viable self defense case—but it still inarguably clear that the story of Gasser leaving his vehicle to attack and then execute McKnight told to several different news outlets is complete fiction.

I’d also note—since Sheriff Normand is discussing the facts of the case as little as possible for very good reasons—that this WILL NOT be a “stand your ground” case.

Why?

Gasser  was trapped in his vehicle in heavy traffic at a busy intersection. He had no ability retreat if McKnight was at his door and he was boxed in on all sides, therefore stand your ground is irrelevant.

This will stand or fall as a straight self-defense case as did the trial of George Zimmerman, where Florida’s stand your ground law was likewise mentioned continuously by a biased mainstream media, but played no role in the prosecution or defense at all.