Joe McKnight’s killer walks free, but he’s not in the clear yet

The man who fatally shot ex-Jets running back Joe McKnight in a road rage showdown was released from custody early Friday without being charged, authorities said.

Ronald Gasser, 54, was sprung after gunning down an unarmed McKnight in a New Orleans suburb Thursday afternoon — but he’s not in the clear yet, authorities said.

Investigators were slated to meet Friday with the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office to “discuss what, if any, charges will be brought against Mr. Gasser,” Col. John Fortunato, of the parish’s sheriff’s office, told the Daily News.

“There’s no timeline for when this has to be done,” Fortunato added. “We want to get it right.”

Joe McKnight had big heart and big dreams while with Jets

Authorities refused to offer details of the 2:43 p.m. shooting in Terrytown, but an unnamed witness provided a chilling account.

The driver of a blue Infiniti sedan was seen yelling at McKnight, who appeared to be apologizing, as they stood in the middle of a busy intersection.

New York Jets running back Joe McKnight (25) during the Jets OTA at their training facility.

Former Jets running back Joe McKnight was killed Thursday.

(Kevin Hagen for the New York Daily News)

The witness told The Times-Picayune the man, later identified as Gasser, shot McKnight more than once. Gasser then stood over the victim and barked, “I told you don’t you (expletive) with me,” before firing a final shot.

Gasser remained at the scene and turned over his gun to police.

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The 28-year-old McKnight, who was drafted by the Jets in 2010, was carrying no weapons, authorities said.

A search of his car was on hold pending the issuing of a search warrant.

Fortunato called on any witnesses to come forward. He said the decision to release Gasser was based in part on the suspect’s account of the fatal encounter.

“That’s why it’s important that we get independent witnesses to either support or refute what he claims,” Fortunato said.

Antonio Cromartie, McKnight’s former teammate with the Jets, was dismayed to learn that Gasser was released without being charged.

“I don’t get it,” Cromartie tweeted. “How in hell do you release someone who killed my brother, my friend a father a son a brother without charging him. Bull Crap.”

“You tell (me) how can a man murder someone go get to sleep in his bed at night,” Cromartie added. ‘But my brother can’t. What the hell am I to tell my nephew.”

Gasser’s family said they couldn’t believe the telecommunications expert was capable of murder.


Ronald Gasser (seated) leans against his vehicle in in Terrytown, La., as Joe McKnight is treated to the right.


“He’s the best guy, the most generous guy,” Gasser’s sister, Sharon Weileman told The Times-Picayune. “I have no idea what happened. I can’t even talk right now.”

“I’m speechless at the moment,” added Gasser’s daughter, Candice Gasser-Bua. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened.”

Gasser moved into his father’s single-story brick house in Gretna, La., about 15 years ago. Gasser has lived there alone since his dad’s death last year, neighbors said.

“He seemed to be a loner,” one resident told The Times-Picayune.

“I never saw anyone else coming or going out of there.”

new york jets
joe mcknight
gun violence
new orleans
antonio cromartie
ronald gasser

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