HARVEY, La. -- A road rage incident possibly sparked by a driver cutting off another on a nearby bridge spiraled into a shooting that left an ex-NFL player dead, authorities said, amid criticism the shooter was allowed to go free.Joe McKnight, 28, was shot Thursday afternoon in Terrytown, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. Authorities identified Ronald Gasser, 54, as the shooter and released him overnight.At a news conference Friday, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said the altercation started on a nearby bridge and proceeded into the New Orleans suburb.Witnesses reported hearing rapid gunfire after the two men were in a heated argument.Normand said Gasser shot McKnight three times from inside his car while McKnight stood outside and then gave his handgun to deputies when they arrived at the scene soon afterward. No weapon was found on or near McKnights body, authorities said.No charges have been filed, and some have criticized the sheriff for releasing Gasser.Morris Reed Sr., president of the New Orleans branch of the NAACP, was part of a small group of protesters outside the sheriffs office Friday. He said they would ask the Department of Justice to open an independent investigation into the shooting.Until someone is charged with a crime, justice is not served, he said on local media.Dozens of people gathered at the scene of the shooting Friday night, holding hands in prayer and lighting candles. One woman held a sign saying This is murder.Normand defended his handling of the case, saying they would investigate thoroughly. Speaking of Gassers release, the sheriff said the state has certain statutes that provide a defense to certain crimes but did not go into detail.Normand rejected accounts in local media speculating about the shooting. He said theres no video of the incident and Gasser did not stand over McKnight, firing. Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said McKnights three wounds were not consistent with being shot from above.When asked whether the states stand your ground law will play a role, Normand said: It is one of the issues that looms on the horizon, before saying he didnt want to give an opinion.Stand your ground laws give people wide latitude to use deadly force when they believe they are in danger. Dane Ciolino, a Loyola University law professor in New Orleans, says under such laws people engaged in lawful activity in a place where they have a lawful right to be, dont have to retreat.He said it ... boils down to whether the killing is necessary for this man to save his life.But news that Gasser has been involved in a similar altercation -- at the same intersection -- with a driver a decade ago will likely raise further questions about who was the aggressor.Normand said in a press release late Friday that in February 2006, a man observed a truck driving erratically and called a number on the truck, speaking to a man later identified as Gasser.Gasser and the man got into a fight on the phone and then Gasser followed the man to a service station, confronted him and hit him several times. Gasser drove away and the victim called 911.Investigators found Gasser and issued a misdemeanor summons for simple battery, which was later dismissed. Authorities said they are trying to determine why it was dismissed.McKnights grandmother, Barbara Franklin, said relatives are trying to find out our own selves just what happened and why Gasser was released.He might be released now, but God is going to bring about justice in it, she said by phone.McKnights death was eerily similar to that of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith who was killed last April in a shooting sparked by a traffic altercation.The man accused of shooting Smith goes on trial Monday in New Orleans. The discrepancy in how the two shooters were treated stood out for Kawanee Holmes, of Gretna, Louisiana who came to the intersection where McKnight was shot to leave balloons and flowers with a friend.It wasnt justified what he did. He could have defused the situation by driving away, Holmes said.McKnight is black and Gasser is white, authorities said. Normand denied race played a role, pointing out that the man who raised McKnight used to be a sheriffs deputy and many people in the department are close to his family.McKnight played three seasons for the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent this season in the Canadian Football League. He was considered the nations No. 1 running back recruit when he came out of Louisiana in 2006 and signed with the University of Southern California.Former teammates in New York remembered McKnight fondly.I enjoyed the time when he was here and getting to know him as a person. I think its going to hurt his son the most and thats what is really bothering me -- knowing that a kid will have to grow up without his dad, said Muhammad Wilkerson.The Jets plan a moment of silence before Mondays game to honor McKnight.Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll coached McKnight at USC and said he had talked with McKnight just three weeks ago in California.He had a great heart, he was a great kid, he was fun to be around, fun loving but you just knew he had a lot of stuff to overcome and he was making it, Carroll said. Were going to miss him greatly, Carroll said.---Associated Press reporters Jeff Amy in Jackson, Mississippi, Dennis Waszak Jr. in Florham Park, New Jersey, and Tim Booth contributed to this report.---Follow Rebecca Santana on Twitter (at)ruskygal. Wholesale NHL Jerseys . -- Running backs Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings were back at practice for the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday despite being hampered by hamstring injuries. Stitched Hockey Jerseys . Parker had 26 points and eight assists and San Antonio beat Toronto 112-99 Monday night. "We won that game because of Tony Parkers aggressiveness," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "His juice; his aggression all night long. http://www.cheapnhljerseys.info/ . Ancelotti says Ronaldo has recovered from a hamstring injury but "but he doesnt feel comfortable yet so we wont risk him." Madrid is third in the Spanish league, six points behind leader Barcelona, going into Saturdays game against Valladolid. Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys . -- The proud fathers huddled near the Dallas Stars dressing room, smiling, laughing and telling stories while wearing replica green sweaters of their sons team. NHL Jerseys China . Didier Drogba gave away the penalty that put Senegal one goal away from a major upset, but the veteran striker will get another chance -- probably his last -- at the World Cup after Salomon Kalous injury-time strike sealed the Ivorians place in Brazil next year. The threat of heftier sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency has prompted key figures in the Lachie Whitfield saga to accept bans for the 2017 season.News Corp and Fox Sports have reported the young Greater Western Sydney midfielder will be handed a six-month ban for avoiding a drugs test last May.The two ex-Giants staff members involved in the cover-up - Graeme Allan and Craig Lambert - are also set for 12-month bans under the AFL-imposed but ASADA-backed agreement.A final decision and announcement of the punishments, which could also include the loss of picks in his months national draft, could arrive this week after Tuesdays AFL Commission meeting.The suspensions will allow Whitfield, taken by the Giants with the No.1 pick in the 2012 draft, to resume his career as soon as round nine of the 2017 season.Allan, who is now Collingwoods football chief, and Lambert, who also left his role as a welfare officer with the Giants for a role with AFL rivals Brisbane, would resume their careers at seasons end.The punishment is a blow for the Magpies, which released respected backroom operator Neil Balme after appointing Allan and willl need to find a short-term replacement for the 2016 season.ddddddddddddThe sentences are the result of negotiations between the parties and the AFL, under ASADA supervision, unlike the tortured, antagonistic process that lengthened Essendons supplements saga.Its understood that by accepting the sanctions, ASADA will effectively close the book on the inquiry, clearing Whitfield, Allan and Lambert of future investigations.It is unclear whether Whitfield will be able to train with the Giants during his ban.The 22-year-old stayed at Lamberts house for several nights in May last year, under Allans instructions, after alleged recreational drug use, so as to avoid a potential drug test.Any announcement on Tuesday would come alongside the Commissions decision on whether it will award Brownlow Medals to Sam Mitchell and Trent Cotchin.Mitchell and Cotchin polled 26 votes in the 2012 count, behind only Essendon midfielder Jobe Watson, who has given back his medal after his involvement in the clubs doping regime. 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