David Smith, 27, who was described as delusional, is believed to
have killed the three victims, one of whom was his sister, sometime
between Saturday and Monday in Lakeland, Florida, law enforcement
On Tuesday, Smith called authorities in Tennessee and said he was
wanted for murder in Florida and was holed up at a motel in West
Smith fired multiple shots from his motel room during negotiations
for his surrender but eventually became quiet, according to a
statement from the Knox County Sheriff's Department.
Agents gassed and then stormed his room where they found him injured
from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead after he
was taken to a local hospital.
Smith was located after an overnight manhunt, said Sheriff Grady
Judd of Polk County, Florida.
He said Smith was a U.S. Army veteran with the 82nd Airborne
Division who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bodies were discovered by Smith's 14-year-old niece who had been
away for the weekend on an ROTC trip and found her mother – Smith's
sister - and two others dead when she returned. Smith also had
recently lived in the home.
"It was a very violent scene," Judd said.
He identified two of the dead as Danyala Smith, 31, sister of the
suspected shooter, and Nikosi Williams, 25, a visitor at the house.
The third victim has not yet been identified.
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The sheriff said Smith had left the military several years ago and
suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He described Smith as
a paranoid loner.
Smith had previously been hospitalized involuntarily for his mental
condition, and was posting delusional statements on Facebook, Judd
"I don't know who could have done more, but I know a lot of people
in the family tried to help him," he said.
(Editing by David Adams, Matthew Lewis, Kevin Gray and Mohammad
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