Will Smith’s alleged shooter, former SLU student

Cardell Hayes, the man accused of shooting former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, spent time at Southeastern as a student between the years 2005 and 2011.

“He started here in Fall 2005 and was an off-and-on student,” said Director of Public Information Rene Abadie. “His last semester was 2011. He never graduated.”

On Saturday, Apr. 10, Hayes, 28, allegedly shot Smith eight times and shot his wife Racquel twice after an incident of road rage. 

According to the coroner’s report, Smith received seven shots to the back, while his wife received two non-fatal shots to both legs.

The investigation is on-going as both lawyers spar over the happenings of the events.

Both men were football players; Smith is commonly remembered for helping the Saints win the Superbowl in 2009. 

Hayes was a promising defensive lineman during his time at Warren Easton High School in New Orleans and played again starting last year for the Crescent City Kings, part of the Gridiron Developmental Football League, according to WWL. 

In high school, Hayes was ranked among the top 50 college prospects in the state, but did not play college football during his time at Southeastern or at any university.

“Cardell Hayes was never a student-athlete at Southeastern,” confirms director of Sports Information Kemmler Chapple.

While in school, Hayes studied management, but appears to have kept a low profile despite his large size, according to USA Today, of 6’6” and 200 pounds.

Several professors in the Department of Management and Business Administration at Southeastern reported to have no interaction or recollection of Hayes during his time at Southeastern.

Associate professor Dave Bowes was not able to recall Hayes specifically, but remembered him vaguely after looking Hayes up and learning he was in his Economic classes during fall of 2011.

“I honestly do not remember him as a student,” said Bowes. “I can now vaguely picture him in class. Football linemen can stand out sitting in those little desks, but again I have no specific recollections.”

Hayes’ bond is set at $1 million, according to the Associated Press. Facts of the shootings remain uncertain as lawyers on both sides have different views about who was the aggressor in the incident.

Hayes’ lawyer claims Hayes did not start the fight and that the case is an example of a person being prejudiced, according to CNN. However, the lawyer on Smith’s side says Hayes was the aggressor as he ran into Smith’s car after being rear-ended.