A Phoenix man was charged with four murders and multiple assaults after allegedly killing his wife, two of their children and a friend over apparent suspicions that his wife was having an affair with his brother, who was not among the victims.
While in custody, suspect Austin Smith told police that “in God’s eyes” it was alright for him to deal with someone who had been involved in adultery or an extramarital affair in that manner. Under his religious beliefs he sees that it was okay.
It is still unclear what religion Smith practices.
On Thursday, police were called to the scene of an apartment complex in Glendale, Arizona — a city about nine miles northwest of downtown Phoenix — where they found the body of Ron Freeman, 46, as well as an unidentified woman, 47, with multiple gunshot wounds and an unidentified man with unspecified injuries.
Police say they apprehended the 30-year-old whilst he tried fleeing the scene.
Once in police custody, he allegedly led authorities to the scene of an even more horrific crime at his own home.
Officials say that Smith had returned home from a local bar around 8 p.m. full of suspicion over the perceived infidelity and confronted his wife, who denied the accusation.
Smith then then fatally shot his 29-year-old wife Dasia Patterson and their 5-year-old daughter, Nasha Smith, according to court records quoted by the Associated Press.
Their 7-year-old daughter, Mayan Smith, died from apparent blunt-force trauma, allegedly by the use of a bat, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities said the only survivor at Smith’s family home was the couple’s 3-year-old daughter.
“It is from my understanding that he elected not to shoot the 3-year-old. She was under the bed when officers got to her,” said a police officer.
He then headed to Glendale and shot Freeman after the family friend told Smith he would be crazy to believe his wife was cheating on him.
Inside Smith’s car, police found a 9mm handgun, a .45 caliber handgun and a .223 caliber rifle they believe were used in the shootings.
Smith was charged on Friday the quadruple murder and held on $2 million bail.
He is also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault.
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