Heartache as NFL stars play pallbearers at Joe McKnight's funeral, watched by the player's son, 7, after the running back was shot dead in road rage attack

  • McKnight was laid to rest in a ceremony at New Home Ministries in New Orleans on Monday 
  • His pallbearers were former teammates Sione Po'uha, Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott, LenDale White, Willie Colon, and D'Brickashaw Ferguson
  • Dallas Cowboys quarterback Mark Sanchez also helped carry McKnight's casket down to the hearse
  • The NFL player's son, Jaiden McKnight, 7, and the boy's mom, Michelle Beltran were seen tearfully hugging
  • After the ceremony the Free Spirit Brass Band played 'I'll Fly Away' as mourners danced
  • McKnight was shot dead in a road-rage-related attack on December 1, authorities say 

Former New York Jets player Joe McKnight was laid to rest Monday in New Orleans as teammates, fellow players, family and friends gathered to mourn the 28-year-old, who was shot dead on December 1.

McKnight's casket was carried by former teammates Sione Po'uha, Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott, LenDale White, Willie Colon, and D'Brickashaw Ferguson, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Also present was McKnight's seven-year-old son, Jaiden, who was seen clutching his mom, Johanna Michelle Beltran, after the service. 

'He was a brother to me,' former Jets linebacker Bart Scott said, according to The Advocate. 'We're here to support him as an extension of this family. Support for his son, who's going to need guidance and memories and stories about the type of man his father was.'

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Departed: The funeral for ex-NY Jets player Joe McKnight was held in with ex-players Bart Scott (second right) and Willie Colon (right) acting as pallbearers, along with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Mark Sanchez (in shades, left)

Sorrow: Colon (left), Sanchez (center), and former New York Jets player D'Brickashaw Ferguson (right) after the funeral in New Orleans. McKnight was shot dead on December 1 in what police say was a road-rage incident

Tragedy: Jaiden, McKnight's seven-year-old son, hugs mom Johanna Michelle Beltran after the funeral, which was held at the New Home Family Worship Center

Killed: McKnight (pictured) was just 28 when he shot during an encounter with another driver in Terrytown, Louisiana. Witnesses said that the two had gotten into an argument before McKnight was shot. Police confirmed he was unarmed

Accused: Ronald Gasser (pictured left in mugshot, right after incident), 54, is accused of shooting McKnight. He has been charged with manslaughter

The service, held at the New Home Family Worship Center, was officiated by Bishop William McPherson, who told the congregation at New Home Ministries that he had baptized McKnight.

'Joe is just hoping that we get out of this mess,' he said. 'Joe is with the Lord.' 

Sanchez, who had played for the Jets prior to joining the Cowboys, recalled McKnight as a 'freak athlete' whose skill with the ball enthralled his teammates - and whose great sense of humor kept them laughing.

As the casket and mourners headed from the church to Restlawn Cemetery in suburban Avondale, the Free Spirit Brass Band played 'I'll Fly Away', while mourners danced along.

McKnight played with the Jets from 2010-2013. 

Daryl Pierce, 58, the father of a Carver High School player whose team often went up against McKnight's team from John Curtis Christian High School, also attended the game.

Although McKnight had frequently gone head-to-head with his son and their friends on the field, Pierce commended the former Jet's players abilities, even as a youth.

'He used to put on a show against us. Against everybody,' said Pierce, who wore a Jets hat and shirt in honor of the fallen star.

Friends: Former teammates Bart Scott (left) and Colon tell the press about their feelings after the ceremony

Comfort: Jaiden seeks comfort from his mom in the wake of his father's death 

Police say that McKnight was shot dead by Ronald Gasser, 54, in Terrytown on December 1 after the pair got into an argument in the street. Three shots were fired.

Gasser shot McKnight from inside his car, witnesses said - although some also recall him standing over McKnight's body and shooting him one last time before saying 'I told you not to f*** with me.' 

McKnight was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Gasser had been released shortly after the incident but was later arrested on a manslaughter charge on December 6 and remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail. 

Louisiana is a 'stand your ground' state.

On Sunday night, Cardell Hayes, 29, was convicted of manslaughter in the road-rage-related shooting of another New Orleans ex-NFL star, Will Smith.

Smith, who had played for the New Orleans Saints, was shot on the city's streets in April by Hayes, who had just been in a car accident with him. Smith's wife, Racquel Smith, was also wounded.

Mourning: A pair of mourners huge each other after the funeral services

Dancing: Mourners dance to a brass band following the funeral

Departure: A funeral director closes the hearse door as mourners depart the Worship Center, which is a Christian-focused 'family of churches'

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