Live Oak —
A former Live Oak resident was one of three victims whose lives were claimed in a triple homicide that happened in Lakeland Saturday, May 24. Miranda Mims, 28, formerly of Suwannee County, was reportedly killed by David Eugene Smith, 27, who died Tuesday following a series of events.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, on Monday, May 26, at approximately 9 p.m., the 14-year-old daughter of 31-year-old victim Danyala Smith arrived home from a weekend ROTC trip to find her mother shot dead inside the home. She then told one of the chaperones, her ROTC sergeant major, what she found, and emergency responders were contacted.
Polk County deputies arrived at 5601 Old Highway 37, in Lakeland, and found Danyala Smith, Nikosi Williams, 25, and Miranda Mims all deceased from apparent gunshot wounds.
Detectives believe the victims were killed sometime after 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 24.
The search then began for David E. Smith, 27, Lakeland, who they believed was their suspect.
David Smith reportedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following his service in the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq.
“Due to his alleged military background and his paranoid and delusional state of mind, we are urging the public’s help in locating this suspect - as soon as possible,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at the time.
David Smith fled the state and was discovered in Tennessee on Tuesday.
According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, David Smith called dispatch at 9:44 a.m. Tuesday indicating he was wanted in Florida for homicide and threatened suicide by cop. KCSO patrol officers responded to a Days Inn at 9240 Park West Boulevard, Knoxville, Tenn., where David Smith was staying. KCSO SWAT was deployed around 10:45 a.m. that morning and KCSO negotiators engaged him for about two hours. During that time, David Smith fired multiple shots through the window of room 236, where he was staying. Negotiators lost contact with him around 12:15 p.m. At 1:20 p.m., officers gassed his room and made entry. There, they found David Smith had suffered an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.