Ronald Gasser, the Louisiana man who shot and killed former NFL star running back Joe McKnight in a road rage incident in Terrytown, has been formally charged with manslaughter.
Ronald Gasser, the man authorities say shot former NFL player Joe McKnight during a road rage incident, was arrested Monday (Dec. 5) on a manslaughter charge, according to the jail records from Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The move comes after Gasser originally was released after the shooting.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said it will hold a press conference Tuesday morning (Dec. 6) to give an update on the investigation. The media event is scheduled for 10 a.m. with Sheriff Newell Normand.
Authorities say Gasser fatally shot McKnight, 27, from inside his vehicle during a road rage incident Thursday (Dec. 1) at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in Terrytown. Gasser was released hours later by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office without charges, as Normand said his office was still working to investigate what happened.
Gasser was taken into custody last night and is being held without bond.
Gasser fired three shots through the passenger-side window of his sports car, striking McKnight fatally. McKnight died on the ground between the two vehicles. It wasn’t clear whether Gasser shot McKnight before or after McKnight attempted to exit his own vehicle.
As I’d stated previously, Louisiana’s implementation of “stand your ground” law would not be a factor in this case.
Gasser and McKnight were in a road rage conflict, and Gasser cannot claim self-defense as an aggressor under Louisiana law.
A person who is the aggressor or who brings on a difficulty cannot claim the right of self-defense unless he withdraws from the conflict in good faith and in such a manner that his adversary knows or should know that he desires to withdraw and discontinue the conflict.
Whether you reside in a “stand your ground” or “castle” doctrine state, citizens are generally required to not instigate or escalate conflicts. The goal of such laws is to prevent hotheads from provoking someone into attacking them, then killing the person they provoked and claiming that the killing was in self defense. You are required to make a sincere (“good faith”) attempt to deescalate and withdraw from the conflict before you pull a weapon after you’ve played a role in initiating or escalating the conflict.
Clearly, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand’s investigators have determined that Ronald Gasser played some role in the incident as and instigator or escalator of the road rage conflict which concluded in McKnight’s death. It wasn’t the first time. Ten years prior Gasser was charged but not convicted after a road rage incident at the same intersection led to him assaulting another man.
He clearly learned nothing from that previous incident.