Update, 2:15 p.m. 

In a news conference Friday, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand addressed questions as to why shooter Ronald Gasser was released from custody and clarified that Joe McKnight was shot and killed from shots fired from inside the car of Gasser. See the update here

Original story

The man who authorities say shot Joe McKnight has been released from custody, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Col. John Fortunato, a JPSO spokesman, said no charges have been filed "as of yet" against the man, Ronald Gasser, 54. 

"Gasser was released overnight and has not been charged as of yet," Fortunato said. "The matter remains under investigation." 

No one answered the door at Gasser's Terrytown home on Friday morning, and his sister did not immediately return a request for comment on his release. Two Sheriff's Office SUVs sat parked across the street.

Gasser's involvement in the incident came as a surprise to several neighbors who said that they knew Gasser mostly as a private man who would give them a friendly wave as he mowed his lawn.

Gasser's next-door neighbor Regina Sam smiled when she heard his name and called him "my baby boy."

Sam said that when her son went off to serve in Iraq, he asked Gasser to watch over his mother.

"He just about the same age as my son in the military," Sam said. "He's a good guy."

Witnesses said a man could be heard yelling at McKnight moments after shooting him dead at a busy Terrytown intersection.

McKnight, shot at Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard about 3 p.m. Friday, is a Kenner native who starred at the University of Southern California before spending several years in the NFL.

Gasser never left the scene. He surrendered a weapon to deputies..

One woman said she was driving down the street and saw a man with a gun before the shooting happened. The woman, who declined to give her name, said she turned off into a Shell gas station parking lot immediately in front of the scene of the crime before she heard several shots.

After she turned, she said she saw a man lying with a gunshot wound on the street. The woman then said she heard the man with the gun shout, “I told you don’t f*** with me.”

 

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