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An Arizona man is accused of killing four people, including his wife and two of his daughters, because he believed his wife was having an affair with his brother, police said.
Austin Smith said he spared his third daughter—3-year-old Naquia—because she reminded him of himself, according to court documents. She was later found by police hiding under a bed.
Smith, 30, arrived home from a local bar around 8:15 p.m. Thursday night and accused his wife, Dasia Patterson, 29, of having an affair with his brother, Phoenix police said according to local station KNXV-TV.
Patterson denied the claim but Smith allegedly shot her and his 5-year-old daughter Nasha Smith because he believed God had wanted him to kill the two.
He later told police he killed his oldest daughter, Mayan Smith, 7, using blunt for trauma because she had been “weeping for the wicked,” KSAZ-TV reports.
A court document later said Smith punched her, and then threw her into the ceiling before beating her several times in the head with a baseball bat, according to the Associated Press.
Smith then allegedly drove to an apartment to find his brother and encountered family friend, Ron Freeman, who lived in the adjacent apartment.
Freeman told Smith “he was crazy” and that his wife had not been cheating on him.
“My son tried to talk him into understanding, you’re crazy to think your brother would have any relationship with your wife,” Freeman’s mother, Sharon Fells, would later tell KNXV-TV. “But he had no idea that young man had already killed his own family. … My son turned his back on him, and he shot my son in the back.”
Smith allegedly continued to shoot Freeman even after he had fallen to the ground. Two other people were also shot and injured at the scene.
Freeman’s family identified the two other victims as Smith’s brother and Freeman’s girlfriend.
Smith fled the scene but was stopped by the police shortly after the shooting and was taken into custody. Police said he confessed to killing his wife and daughters because he had believed it was what God wanted him to do.
“He said that the reason he shot these individuals is because in God's eyes, it was all right for him to deal with someone in this manner who had been involved in adultery, extramarital affairs," Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said according to KSAZ-TV.
Neighbors were left shocked by the horrific violence and described Smith as friendly.
“He was very outgoing; he made sure that everybody knew him, he spoke to everyone here,” Carmen Gallego told KNXV-TV. “He got along with everyone, laughing, had conversations but the wife was always inside.”
A vigil was held to remember the victims Sunday night. A woman who described herself as Dasia Patterson’s best friend told KSAZ-TV that the allegations of cheating in the relationship were completely false and described Patterson as a loving mother.
Smith was booked on suspicion of four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault. His bail has been set at $2 million.
The couple’s youngest daughter, who survived, is now with child services.
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