Suspect in Lakeland triple murder has died in Tennessee

Suspect in Lakeland triple murder has died in Tennessee

Posted: Updated:
Smith's photo provided by PCSO Smith's photo provided by PCSO
David Eugene Smith, 27. David Eugene Smith, 27.
Sheriff Judd at a press conference during the investigation Sheriff Judd at a press conference during the investigation
Smith's Facebook post Smith's Facebook post

The suspect involved in a triple murder in Lakeland, 27-year-old David Eugene Smith, has died in Knox County, Tennessee.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office posted on their website Smith was pronounced dead on Tuesday afternoon.  The sheriff's office says Smith was taken from the motel by ambulance with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, which appears to have caused his death.

According to the sheriff's office, Smith called police dispatch himself around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, saying he was wanted for murder in Florida and threatened suicide by police. He reported his location as room 236 at the Days Inn. Police secured the area at that time and brought SWAT officers in.

After an approximate two hour standoff, officers threw tear gas into the room and Smith was taken into custody at 1:25 p.m. While Smith was in the room, he fired multiple shots through the window.

A Mercury Sable, which deputies say Smith drove from Polk County, was taken from the scene.

MORE: Deputies, SWAT teams in standoff with Florida murder suspect in West Knoxville

At an earlier press conference Tuesday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said a 14-year-old ROTC student found her mother, another woman and a man shot dead early Monday when she returned home from a weekend trip. She told one of the chaperones, her ROTC Sergeant Major, what she found, and they contacted the emergency responders.

The victims have been identified as the suspect's sister 31-year-old Danyala Smith, 28-year-old Miranda Mims, and Ni'Kosi Williams.

Deputies believe the three were shot dead some time after 7 a.m. Saturday. Judd said the suspect in this case is David Eugene Smith, 27, of Lakeland.

Smith has prior arrests in Polk County for marijuana and cocaine possession and carrying concealed firearm.

The day of the supposed homicide Smith left this post on his confirmed Facebook page:

"2 my adulteress wife now you know better. I just don't know why a being so close to me would hide it and play games. When I's me and know a lot. David 7,7 well I will see you."

This was posted at 4:41 p.m. Saturday. Smith mentions a wife in several posts. He was never married, Judd said.

Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives are currently traveling to Knox, Tennessee.

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