Phoenix shooting: Three-year-old girl hid under bed as father killed mother and sisters
News

Phoenix shooting: Three-year-old girl hid under bed as father killed mother and sisters

A three-year-old girl was found hiding under a bed after her father killed her mother, two sisters and a family friend in a shooting spree, US police have said.

Austin Smith allegedly shot dead his wife Dasia Patterson, 29, and murdered two of their daughters at their home in Phoenix, Arizona, after accusing her of cheating on him.

Police said the 30-year-old bludgeoned to death eldest daughter Mayan Smith, seven, with a baseball bat. Her younger sibling Nasha Smith, five, died of gunshot wounds.


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Officers found the girls’ three-year-old sister cowering under a bed unhurt.

“It is my understanding that for whatever reason he elected not to shoot her,” said Sgt Tommy Thompson, of Phoenix Police Department.

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1/50 14 April 2019

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Indian Hindu devotees are sprayed with coloured water as they celebrate the Holi festival at the Kalupur Swaminarayan Temple, in Ahmedabad. Holi, the popular Hindu spring festival of colours is observed in India at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month

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35/50 11 March 2019

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37/50 9 March 2019

Activists of Ukrainian nationalist parties scuffle with police officers during a rally to demand an investigation into the corruption of Ukraine’s armed forces officials, in Kiev

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38/50 8 March 2019

Algerian protesters demonstrate against their ailing president’s bid for a fifth term in power, in Algiers

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French gendarmes arrive for evacuation as prison guards block the entrance to the penitentiary center of Alencon, in Conde-sur-Sarthe, northwestern France, two days after a prison inmate seriously wounded two guards in a knife attack before being detained in a police raid. – The prison of Alencon / Conde-sur-Sarthe, where two guards were seriously stabbed on March 5 by a radicalized detainee, was blocked again on March 7 by about a hundred prison guards.

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40/50 6 March 2019

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45/50 1 March 2019

Destroyed and deserted buildings are seen at the scene of ongoing fighting between Somali soldiers and al-Shabab fighters in Mogadishu, Somalia. Somali security forces have been exchanging gunfire with gunmen holed up in a building since previous night when a suicide car bomb exploded nearby

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49/50 25 February 2019

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50/50 24 February 2019

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1/50 14 April 2019

Indonesian soldiers and police at a general security roll call for the upcoming general elections in Jakarta. Some 192 million Indonesians are set to cast a ballot in the world’s third-biggest democracy, with a record 245,000 candidates vying for positions from the presidency and parliamentary seats all the way down to local council jobs

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2/50 13 April 2019

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AFP/Getty

3/50 12 April 2019

A woman visits the exhibition ‘Mirrors: In and Out of Reality’ in Barcelona, Spain. Maths, physics and photonics melt in this exhibition presented by Cosmocaixa in which visitors can enter a big kaleidoscope to walk through and experience with the effects and particularities of mirrors. The exhibition will be open to public until 6 June 2019

EPA

4/50 11 April 2019

Voters line up to cast their votes outside a polling station during the first phase of general election in Alipurduar district in the eastern state of West Bengal, India

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5/50 10 April 2019

The first ever photo a black hole, taken using a global network of telescopes, conducted by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, to gain insight into celestial objects with gravitational fields so strong no mater or light can escape

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6/50 9 April 2019

Sudanese protesters chant slogans as they rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum. Sudan’s police ordered its forces to avoid intervening against protesters as three Western nations threw their weight behind demonstrators’ demands for a political transition plan in the country

AFP/Getty

7/50 8 April 2019

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AFP/Getty

8/50 7 April 2019

People hold candles as they attend a night vigil and prayer at the Amahoro Stadium as part of the 25th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide, in Kigali, Rwanda. April 7 begins 100 days of mourning for more than 800,000 people who were slaughtered in a genocide that shocked the world, a quarter of a century on from the day it began

AFP/Getty


9/50 6 April 2019

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AFP/Getty

10/50 5 April 2019

A refugee father and son lie on railway tracks to prevent a train from leaving a station during a protest in Athens, Greece. Dozens of migrants staged a protest in Athens central train station disrupting all railway services in the hope they will be transported to the Greek border and join other refugees attempting to follow a 2016 migration route towards northern Europe

Getty

11/50 4 April 2019

Security agents and police officers hold back migrants during the evacuation of a makeshift camp at Porte de la Chapelle, in the north of Paris. More than 300 migrants and refugees were evacuated on early April 4 from a makeshift camp to accomodation structures

AFP/Getty

12/50 3 April 2019

An Alexandra township resident gestures and they part is clashes with the Johannesburg Metro Police, South Africa during a total shutdown of the township due to protest against the lack of service delivery or basic necessities such as access to water and electricity, housing difficulties and lack of public road maintenance

AFP/Getty


13/50 2 April 2019

Children eat next to the debris of damaged homes at Purainiya village in Nepal’s southern Bara district near Birgunj, following a rare spring storm. The freak storm tore down houses and overturned cars and trucks as it swept across southern Nepal killing at least 27 people and leaving more than 600 injured

AFP/Getty

14/50 1 April 2019

A forensic expert works next to the remains of a small plane that crashed near Erzhausen, Germany. Natalia Fileva, chairwoman and co-owner of Russia’s second largest airline S7, died when a private jet she was in crashed near Frankfurt on Sunday, the company said

Reuters

15/50 31 March 2019

Ukrainian comic actor and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivers a speech following the announcement of the first exit poll in a presidential election at his campaign headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine

Reuters

16/50 30 March 2019

Catalan pro-independence protesters throw rocks during a counter-demonstration against a protest called by Spanish far-right party Vox against the Catalan independence push in Barcelona. Polls suggest Vox, which campaigns against illegal immigration and “radical” feminism, will become the first far-right party to win seats in the Spanish parliament since the late 70s and could emerge as a kingmaker in Spain’s increasingly fragmented political landscape

AFP/Getty


17/50 29 March 2019

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EPA

18/50 28 March 2019

Firefighters on ladders work to extinguish a blaze in an office building in Dhaka after a huge fire tore through it, killing at least five people with many others feared trapped in the latest major fire to hit the Bangladesh capital

AFP/Getty

19/50 27 March 2019

A Palestinian protester moves a burning tire during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank

Reuters

20/50 26 March 2019

Palestinians sisters girls look at a destroyed Hamas site close their family’s destroyed house after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. According to reports, Israel continued to launch air strikes on the Gaza Strip overnight after a rocket allegedly fired hit a house near Tel Aviv in central Israel injuring at least seven people

EPA


21/50 25 March 2019

US President Donald Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold up a proclamation recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights as Netanyahu exits the White House

Reuters

22/50 24 March 2019

Abounded vessel Hagland Captain in anchor in the same area as the cruise ship Viking Sky, which had problems on March 23 during the storm over the west coast of Norway at Hustadvika near Romsdal

AFP/Getty

23/50 23 March 2019

Chris Pratt gets slimed while accepting the Best Butt-Kicker award for “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom” at the Kids Choice Awards

Reuters

24/50 22 March 2019

An aerial view shows damaged buildings after an explosion at a chemical plant in Yancheng in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered local governments to prevent any more industrial disasters after a chemical plant blast left 47 people dead, injured hundreds and flattened an industrial park in the latest such catastrophe to hit the country

AFP/Getty


25/50 21 March 2019

A child is transported on a fridge during floods after Cyclone Idai, in Buzi, outside Beira, Mozambique

Reuters

26/50 20 March 2019

Indian Hindu devotees are sprayed with coloured water as they celebrate the Holi festival at the Kalupur Swaminarayan Temple, in Ahmedabad. Holi, the popular Hindu spring festival of colours is observed in India at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month

AFP/Getty

27/50 19 March 2019

Shards of ice pile up on Lake Michigan along the South Haven Pier

Kalamazoo Gazette/AP

28/50 18 March 2019

Emergency services stand at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrecht where a shooting took place. Several people were wounded on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht, with local media reporting counter-terrorism police at the scene. “Shooting incident… Several injured people reported. Assistance started,” the Utrecht police Twitter account said. “It is a shooting incident in a tram. Several trauma helicopters have been deployed to provide help.”

AFP/Getty


29/50 17 March 2019

Coffins of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines are gathered during the mass funeral at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The crash of Flight ET 302 minutes into its flight to Nairobi on March 10 killed 157 people onboard and caused the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft model involved in the disaster

AFP/Getty Images

30/50 16 March 2019

Brenton Tarrant, the man charged in relation to the Christchurch massacre, makes a sign to the camera during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court. A right-wing extremist who filmed himself rampaging through two mosques in the quiet New Zealand city of Christchurch killing 49 worshippers appeared in court on a murder charge. Australian-born 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant appeared in the dock wearing handcuffs and a white prison shirt, sitting impassively as the judge read a single murder charge against him. A raft of further charges are expected

AFP/Getty

31/50 15 March 2019

An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in New Zealand. At least 49 people have been killed and dozens more are seriously injured after shootings took place at two mosques in Christchurch. Police have arrested an Australian citizen – a 28-year-old man – and another three people, following the second shooting

Reuters

32/50 14 March 2019

Relatives of crash victims mourn and grieve at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, south-east of Addis Ababa. The French air accident investigation authority said that it will handle the analysis of the black boxes retrieved from the crash site and they have already arrived in France but gave no time frame on how long the analysis could take

AP


33/50 13 March 2019

Men carry a child who was rescued at the site of a collapsed building containing a school in Lagos, Nigeria

Reuters

34/50 12 March 2019

A crab stuck in plastic in Verde Island Passage, Philippines. According to data from the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Filipinos dispose 163 million pieces of single-use plastic sachets daily. An underwater exploration conducted by Greenpeace in Batangas, found single-use plastic sachets between, beneath, and on the corals and seabed of Verde Island Passage, the epicenter of marine biodiversity in the world

EPA

35/50 11 March 2019

Representatives of bereaved families from the affected prefecture offer flowers at an altar for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster during the 8th national memorial service in Tokyo on. On March 11, 2011 a devastating 9.0-magnitude quake struck under the Pacific Ocean and the resulting tsunami caused widespread damage and claimed thousands of lives.

AFP/Getty

36/50 10 March 2019

South Sudanese Catholic faithful believers attend a church service in Udier town

AFP/Getty


37/50 9 March 2019

Activists of Ukrainian nationalist parties scuffle with police officers during a rally to demand an investigation into the corruption of Ukraine’s armed forces officials, in Kiev

Reuters

38/50 8 March 2019

Algerian protesters demonstrate against their ailing president’s bid for a fifth term in power, in Algiers

AFP/Getty

39/50 7 March 2019

French gendarmes arrive for evacuation as prison guards block the entrance to the penitentiary center of Alencon, in Conde-sur-Sarthe, northwestern France, two days after a prison inmate seriously wounded two guards in a knife attack before being detained in a police raid. – The prison of Alencon / Conde-sur-Sarthe, where two guards were seriously stabbed on March 5 by a radicalized detainee, was blocked again on March 7 by about a hundred prison guards.

AFP/Getty

40/50 6 March 2019

Hindu devotees participate in a traditional activity known locally as “Perang Api” or fire war one day ahead of Nyepi in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara. Devotees in Indonesia will celebrate Nyepi day or the “Day of Silence” on March 7, the first day of the Saka Lunar calendar

AFP/Getty


41/50 5 March 2019

Time exposure photo shows a series of lightning strikes over Santa Barbara seen from Stearns Wharf in the city’s harbor. The storm soaked California and could trigger mudslides in wildfire burn areas where thousands of residents are under evacuation orders, authorities warned

Santa Barbara County Fire Department/AP

42/50 4 March 2019

Members of Unidos da Tijuca samba school perform during the first night of Rio’s Carnival at the Sambadrome

AFP/Getty

43/50 3 March 2019

The SpaceX team in Hawthorne watches as the SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with the International Space Station’s Harmony module. SpaceX’s new crew capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, acing its second milestone in just over a day

Nasa/AP

44/50 2 March 2019

US Senator Bernie Sanders (centre) waves to supporters at a rally to kick off his 2020 US presidential campaign, in the Brooklyn borough of New York

AFP/Getty


45/50 1 March 2019

Destroyed and deserted buildings are seen at the scene of ongoing fighting between Somali soldiers and al-Shabab fighters in Mogadishu, Somalia. Somali security forces have been exchanging gunfire with gunmen holed up in a building since previous night when a suicide car bomb exploded nearby

EPA

46/50 28 February 2019

Activists of Al-Badr Mujahideen burn an effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian national flag during an anti-India protest in Peshawar on. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Indians to “stand as a wall” with anger boiling over Pakistan’s capture of a pilot as a crisis escalates between the nuclear-armed rivals. In his first remarks since India and Pakistan both claimed to have shot down each other’s fighter planes near the disputed border of Kashmir, the prime minister urged his countrymen to unite “as the enemy seeks to destabilise India

AFP/Getty

47/50 27 February 2019

US President Donald Trump (left) shakes hands with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un following a meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi

AFP/Getty

48/50 26 February 2019

An Indian paramilitary solider fires tear gas shell towards Kashmiri protesters in Srinagar. They were protesting against raids on key separatist leaders by Indian intelligence officers

AP


49/50 25 February 2019

US President Donald Trump speaks at the 2019 White House Business Session with Our Nation’s Governors in the State Dining Room. Trump spoke about the Chinese trade deal, the proposed border wall, and his upcoming summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un

EPA

50/50 24 February 2019

Rami Malek (left) winner of Best Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody, Olivia Colman (second left) winner of Best Actress for ‘The Favourite,’ Mahershala Ali (right) winner of Best Supporting Actor for ‘Green Book,’ and Regina King (second right) winner of Best Supporting Actress for ‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ pose during the 91st Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood

EPA

Mr Smith was arrested on Thursday evening as he drove away from an apartment complex where officers had responded to reports of a shooting. At the building they discovered the body of family friend Ron Freeman, 46.

Police initially said Mr Smith thought Mr Freeman was romantically involved with his wife, but a statement later filed in court said the suspect believed it was his brother, who was staying at the complex, who was having an affair with her.

Mr Smith shot Mr Freeman after he told him “he was crazy” to think his wife was cheating on him, according to the court filing. He allegedly fired at him repeatedly even as his body laid on the floor and also shot and injured two of Freeman’s friends, a man and a woman, as they tried to help him.

Sgt Thompson described the scene at the apartment complex as chaotic, with medics treating victims before authorities knew of the shooter’s whereabouts.

Police who searched Mr Smith’s car found a 9mm handgun, a .45 calibre handgun and a .223 calibre rifle believed to have been used in the rampage.

Officers discovered the other victims when they went to Mr Smith’s family home later on Thursday.

He told detectives during an interview he believed “in God’s eyes it was all right for him to deal with someone in this manner who had been involved in adultery or an extramarital affair”.


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The court document described Mr Smith punching his eldest daughter, and throwing her to the ceiling and the floor, before striking the child’s head several times with a baseball bat.

He told police he did not kill his youngest daughter because she “reminded him of himself”, whereas his other daughters reminded him of his wife, reported local television station KNXV-TV.

“They were the most beautiful, sweetest children in the world,” said Cynthia Patterson, Ms Patterson’s mother.

In a further statement, the family said: “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.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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