A triple murder suspect has been cornered by a SWAT team in a building in West Knoxville, Tennessee since 11:30 a.m. local time today.
The suspect, 27-year-old David Smith, is a U.S. Army vet who served with the 82nd Airborne Division and has done tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The suspect allegedly shot and killed three people between Saturday and Monday, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
In a news conference on Tuesday, Judd said, “I can tell you this guy is super dangerous,” confirming that he is believed to be armed and that police negotiators were trying to get him to surrender.
Smith’s 14-year-old niece discovered the bodies on her return from an ROTC trip with her mother. Judd said, “It was a very violent scene.”
Two of the three people killed have now been identified as 31-year-old Danyala Smith, the triple murder suspect’s sister and 25-year-old Nikosi Williams, a visitor to the house. The third victim has not yet been identified.
The suspect himself was described by the Sheriff as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, saying he was a paranoid loner. After leaving the army ten years ago, it is believed Smith’s condition deteriorated and may this have led to the triple murder on Tuesday.
He was previously admitted to hospital involuntarily due to his mental condition, and was known for posting disturbing messages on his Facebook page.
While Sheriff Judd said to reporters, “I don’t know who could have done more, but I know a lot of people in the family tried to help him,” the triple murder suspect has not yet been caught and still poses a potential threat.
It remains to be seen what will happen with the standoff between Smith and the SWAT team. This article will be updated when new information about the situation becomes available.