Arizona man who shot wife, two kids spared youngest child because she 'reminded him of himself'
A man in Arizona has been accused of killing his wife and two out of his three children. He allegedly told authorities that he only let his youngest child live because she apparently takes after him and not his mother. The 30-year-old, Austin Smith, was arrested and charged with several counts of murder in connection to the deaths of his wife, two children, and a family friend in a shooting spree that spread across two murder scenes on the night of April 11.
PEOPLE reported that according to Phoenix police at a press conference, Smith confessed to the crimes. He also allegedly told officers that he had been drinking at a bar that night before he went home and accused his 29-year-old wife Dasia Patterson of cheating on him with his brother.
It was reported that she denied cheating on her husband but Smith allegedly fatally shot her before shooting his five-year-old daughter Nasha Smith. He then allegedly told authorities that god had told him to kill his wife. He was also accused of killing his oldest daughter, seven-year-old Mayan Smith, who died of blunt force trauma injuries.
According to authorities, Smith alleged that he spared his youngest daughter's life because she "reminded him of himself". He said that Nasha and Mayan reminded him of his wife. Dasia's mother spoke to ABC15 on April 13 and called her daughter "one of the most humble [people] in the world". She added that the mother-of-three was "sweet, honest and wouldn’t harm anyone". The devastated grandmother also said that her two grandchildren "were the most beautiful, sweetest children in the world".
The Patterson family issued a statement that read: "We are in anguish over the senseless loss of our beloved Dasia and her young children. 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 authorities, Smith fled from his home after the killings and went looking for his own brother. When he reached his brother's house, a family friend met him at the front door and tried to convinced the enraged man that his wife hadn't cheated on him. Smith then allegedly fatally shot Ron Freeman at the scene. The father eventually left the area in a car but authorities were able to catch up with him and take him into custody. Smith still needs to plead to the four murder counts that he is currently facing.