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Loaded Gun Found Inside Will Smith's Car Could Shed Light on Moments Before Shooting

As more details emerge, we may be able to start piecing together the needless events of that tragic night.

New Orleans police today revealed that a fully loaded 9 mm handgun was found inside former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith's Mercedes-Benz SUV. A fully loaded revolver was also found inside the Hummer H2 of Cardell Hayes. Neither gun was fired. These are both in addition to the .45-caliber handgun Hayes used to shoot Will Smith.

So if you're keeping count at home, that's three guns among two cars. I don't know about you, but that seems like a lot.

With all of this new information, we may be able to piece together the tragic events of that night. And it's looking more like a classic case of road rage which turned violent quickly, and most likely needlessly. Nothing more.

Video shows one witness recounting the argument and someone saying...

"And he goes, 'F--- y'all, I got one too. And he grabs the gun and then he shoots him in the back. He's dead."

My first interpretation is that the witness is talking about Cardell Hayes. That at some point during the argument Will Smith mentioned he had a gun, or possibly threatened to use it, or physically motioned to retrieve a gun from his car, and that was enough of a reason, in his own mind, for Hayes to open fire. If Smith was the one heard speaking as a response to Cardell Hayes pulling out or threatening to use a gun before shooting Smith in the back, then it would be hard to defend his actions in the slightest. Whoever made the first mention or show of a gun will be important.

Either way, things are about to get complicated. Make no mistake about it, Hayes will certainly claim he felt threatened. He will claim Smith was reaching for a gun, or something similar. We're heading for possibly a year or more of legal/trial coverage. Because that's just part of being an NFL fan these days.

We also learned that there was one other person in the car with Cardell Hayes and two other people in the Mercedes-Benz SUV with Smith and his wife, but their identities have not yet been released. Pierre Thomas may have been one of those passengers.