Suspect in 3 Lakeland slayings captured in Tennessee

Posted by KATE IRBY on May 27, 2014 

According to deputies, David Eugene Smith is being sought after three people were found shot to death late Monday at a home near Old Highway 37 in south Lakeland. Bay News 9.

From Bay News 9:

The man the Polk Sheriff's Office says is responsible for killing three people in south Lakeland was taken into custody after wounding himself in a SWAT standoff in Knoxville, Tenn., on Tuesday.

Eugue Smith, 27, became a suspect after two women and one man were found shot to death late Monday at a home in the 5600 block of Old Road 37, near Cherry Lane and Schoolhouse Road.

The victims were identified as Eugene Smith's sister, Danyala Smith, 31, who lived at the home with Miranda Mims, 28 and their friend Nikosi Williams, 25. According to Judd, Smith's 14-year-old daughter returned home from a Memorial Day trip to find her mother and friends dead.

Judd said the shootings may have happened Saturday. Smith left the state after that and has now been located by authorities but is not in custody yet.

Judd said Smith, a former member ofthe Army's 82nd Airborne Division who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and had been Baker Acted in the past.

Smith is described as white with a Native American background. He is 5 foot 11 and 180 pounds and was last seen wearing fatigues. Officials said Smith is driving a beige Mercury Sable with the license plate 708MDB.

Judd said Smith has relatives in Texas and Tennessee.

"More often than not, the people we end up in a violent dust-up with, it’s not the guy who goes in to rob the bank," Judd said. "It’s the mentally ill person with a firearm or knife that has not received appropriate help.

"He (Smith) checked all the boxes: paranoid, delusional, posted rants on Facebook. We’re learning from California (last weekend's shootings). When you see something say something."

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