Austin Smith, 30, allegedly told police God told him to kill his wife
An Arizona man is accused of killing his wife and two of his three children, allegedly telling police he only spared his youngest child because she takes after him and not her mother.
Austin Smith, 30, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder in the deaths of his wife, two kids and a family friend during a shooting spree that spanned two scenes Thursday night, Phoenix police said at a press conference.
According to police, Smith confessed to the shootings. He allegedly said he was drinking at a bar last Thursday night before coming home and accusing his wife, 29-year-old Dasia Patterson, of cheating on him with his brother.
She denied cheating on him, but Smith allegedly fatally shot her before turning the gun on his 5-year-old daughter, Nasha Smith. He allegedly told police God told him to kill his wife.
Smith is also accused of killing his oldest daughter, Mayan Smith, 7, who died of blunt force trauma.
According to police, Smith allegedly admitted he spared youngest daughter because she “reminded him of himself.” Nasha and Mayan, he said, reminded him of his wife.
Patterson’s mother spoke Saturday to ABC15, calling her daughter “one of the most humble [people] in the world,” and adding that she was “sweet, honest and wouldn’t harm anyone.”
The two girls “were the most beautiful, sweetest children in the world,” their grandmother said.
Patterson’s family issued a statement on the killings.
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“We are in anguish over the senseless loss of our beloved Dasia and her young children,” it reads. “As we try to process our profound grief, our focus is on the welfare of her sole surviving three-year-old daughter. She just lost her mother and sisters, and we want nothing more than for her to be with her family right now.”
According to police, Smith fled after the killings and went looking for his brother. When he reached his sibling’s home, he was met by a family friend, who tried to convince him his wife hadn’t cheated on him.
Smith allegedly then fatally shot that man, Ron Freeman, who died at the scene.
Smith eventually left in a car but police caught up with him, taking him into custody.
Smith has yet to plead to the four murder counts he faces. It was unclear if he has an attorney.