A triple murder suspect who was cornered by a SWAT team in Knoxville held out since 11:30 am yesterday. Then he committed suicide rather than face the consequences for the crimes he had allegedly committed.
David Smith, 27, was an ex-U.S. Army soldier who served with the 82nd Airborne Division. Having left the armed forces ten years ago, he reportedly suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and mental problems.
In a news conference on Tuesday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said to reporters: “I can tell you this guy is super dangerous,” confirming that he was believed to be armed and that police negotiators were trying to get him to surrender.
All three people allegedly killed by Smith last weekend have been identified as 31-year-old Danyala Smith, 25-year-old Nikosi Williams, and 28-year-old Miranda Mims.
The triple murder suspect had a long history of mental problems and had previously been admitted to a hospital involuntarily due to his mental condition. He was also renowned for posting disturbing messages on his Facebook page from time to time.
When the SWAT team arrived at the motel where Smith was holed up, negotiators spoke with him but lost contact at about 12:15 pm. He reportedly fired a number of shots through the window of his room but no injuries were sustained.
Some time later, the SWAT team gassed the motel room and entered, finding Smith in a bad way from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest. He was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Sheriff Judd said that the triple murder suspect called himself “Prince David” and was clearly delusional. One of his victims, Danyala Smith, was his Sister.
A motive for the triple murders has not been established by police and, according to all accounts, never will be. Authorities are trying to work out what would lead a man to commit three cold blooded murders, and if the sole reason was his mental issues.