PHOENIX – A Phoenix man who thought his wife was having an affair killed him, two of their young daughters and a man, police said Friday.
Austin Smith was charged with four counts of first degree murder, two first degree murder attempts and three counts of aggravated assault, Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.
The bond was set at $ 2 million, according to court records. A superior court in Maricopa County referred Smith's case to the local public defender's office. But no particular lawyer was assigned to him on Friday night.
Smith was arrested on Thursday night as he was leaving an apartment complex where police had reacted to a shootout. There, they found the body of 46-year-old Ron Freeman. A woman and another man were shot and wounded at the compound, Thompson said.
The police had initially stated that Smith thought that the man who had been killed had a romantic relationship with his wife, but a probable cause statement later filed with the court indicated that the suspect thought that the man who had been killed was in a relationship with his wife. was his brother, unidentified in the document, who was maintaining an affair with him. The victim, described as a friend of the family, told Smith "that he was crazy" before Smith killed him.
Police who arrived at Smith's home later Thursday found his wife, Dasia Patterson, 29, and their 5-year-old daughter, Nasha Smith, dead from gunshot wounds. Mayan Smith, their 7-year-old daughter, died from apparent trauma related to blunt force. The girl's 3-year-old daughter was found unharmed under a bed at the family's home.
"I understand that for some reason he chose not to shoot him," Thompson said.
In an interview, the suspect told the investigators that he was "convinced that it was acceptable to God to treat this person with someone who had been involved in adultery or extramarital relationship, "Thompson said.
The court document released later in the evening described Smith hitting the eldest daughter, tossing her to the ceiling and the floor, and then hitting the child's head several times with a baseball bat.
Thompson described the scene in the building as chaotic, the firefighters treating the victims while the authorities did not know where the gunman was at the start.
The warrant officers searched the car driven by Smith and found a 9mm handgun, a .45 caliber handgun and a .223 caliber rifle, which they said were used in the shootings, according to Smith. the statement of probable cause.