Smith, 34, and his wife, Racquel Smith, were the victims of a double shooting reported late Saturday night in the city's Lower Garden District. The couple was in a Mercedes SUV when they were rear-ended by a Hummer H2, police said in a statement.
The impact of the collision pushed the SUV into another car, which was traveling with the couple.
Smith and the driver of the Hummer "exchanged words" before the driver pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Smith. His wife suffered two gunshot wounds to her right leg, according to police.
Authorities pronounced Smith dead at the scene. His wife was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Records from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court show Hayes was last arrested in 2010 on charges which included illegally carrying weapons, possession of codeine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He pleaded guilty to illegally carrying weapons and a possession of drug paraphernalia charge in January 2014 and received a suspended six-month sentence.