Fans react to the death of former Saints player Will Smith

Beads marked with #91 number at the scene of Will Smith's murder in New Orleans April 10. (Photo: WWL)

NEW ORLEANS (WWL-TV) – Friends, family and people associated with the Saints team showed an outpouring of support for the family of Will Smith Sunday, the day after his death.

A memorial began forming at the spot where the former Saints player was gunned down late Saturday night.

“It’s just sad,” said Wendy Dronet, a fan. “The people who want to help the community end up on the wrong side of the barrel of someone’s gun,” she said.

Dronet stopped by the intersection where Smith was killed. She added a single string of black and gold beards to the growing tribute, marked with ‘RIP #91’.

“It’s still tragic no matter what happens because he has three children, a beautiful wife who’s been injured as well,” Dronet said. “No matter what the situation is, no one should pull a gun on somebody else.

From Dronets’ beads to balloons to blankets, fans paid tribute to the defensive lineman on a chain-linked fence where Sophie B. Wright turns into Camp Street.

Doug Kraus brought flowers.

“I met Will Smith about three weeks ago at Tracy’s and we talked for half an hour,” said Kraus. “He’s just so nice.”

Brent Day lives across the street and said the neighborhood has seen too much violence lately with a non-fatal shooting two months ago, and the shooting of good Samaritan Peter Gold around the corner.

“It’s tough to know that he was a father and a husband and a good guy it seems,” Day said. “The photos of his children online are tough to look at. It’s very tragic.”

Smith posted a picture of himself and his wife on Instagram Saturday, with the caption “having a blast at #fqf2016.” Just a few hours later he was shot to death.

“That’s just heartbreaking,” said Dronet. “How does that happen in the city of New Orleans? I don’t get it. Such a happy place where people love life and love to live.”

(© 2016 WWL)

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