Former Saints running back Pierre Thomas (center) watches as New Orleans police investigate the shooting of Will Smith and his wife. (Michael DeMocker/ The Times-Picayune via AP)

Former New Orleans Saints teammates and other NFL players were stunned by the gut-punch news that former defensive end Will Smith had been shot to death Saturday night after a fender-bender in the city.

Will Smith shot to death in New Orleans

Players asked for prayers for Smith’s wife, Racquel, who was shot in the leg, and the three children Smith leaves behind in a series of social media entries that showed the raw reaction to the news of the double shooting.

Steve Gleason, the former Saints player who is battling Lou Gehrig’s disease, wrote:

Smith played at Ohio State and his tragic passing was noted by the Buckeyes’ coach as well as LeBron James.

A noted New Orleans native noted Smith’s death as well.

More on Will Smith:

Police look for motive beyond road rage

Tyrann Mathieu says he knows Will Smith’s alleged shooter