A man suspected of killing three people at a Florida home died in Tennessee on Tuesday from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
David Eugene Smith called 911 Tuesday morning, telling a dispatcher at the Knox County Sheriff's Office that he was the man wanted in the slayings and said he wanted to die at the hands of law enforcement, the sheriff's office said in a statement on its website. Smith said he was staying at a Days Inn in Knox County, where he holed up during a SWAT standoff that lasted more than two hours.
SWAT officers went to the motel about 10:45 a.m. Negotiators communicated with Smith before losing contact with him about 12:15 p.m. Smith fired multiple shots through the window during the standoff, the sheriff's office said in the statement.
At 1:20 p.m., officers gassed the motel room and entered. Smith was suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and he was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, the statement said.
Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd said earlier that the search for Smith began after the 14-year-old daughter of one of the victims discovered three bodies in her home in Lakeland, Florida, on Monday after returning from a weekend ROTC event.
Judd said the 27-year-old Smith called himself "Prince David" and was delusional. His mother told reporters that he had served in the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan and was diagnosed with PTSD.
One of the victims was Smith's sister, 31-year-old Danyala Smith. The other two were 25-year-old Nikosi Williams and 28-year-old Miranda Mims, said Polk County sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood.
Danyala Smith and Mims lived together in the home where all three were killed, Wood said. Authorities said they haven't yet uncovered a motive.
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