A Phoenix, Arizona, man went on a murder spree after assuming his wife was having an extramarital affair with his brother.
Austin Smith, 30, shot and killed his wife, 29-year-old Dasia Patterson and murdered their two daughters.
However, the life of their three-year-old was spared. She was discovered unharmed underneath a bed.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson, of Phoenix Police Department said:
"It is my understanding that for whatever reason he elected not to shoot her."
According to police, Smith bludgeoned his eldest daughter Mayan Smith, 7, with a baseball bat after punching her in the face and throwing her to the ceiling and on the floor. The younger daughter Nasha Smith, 5, was shot to death because "he felt it was what God had told him to do," according to ABC 15.
Phoenix man murders family under God’s guidance. https://t.co/8aSRuyHfXz— Omaha Sternberg (@Omaha Sternberg) 1555260365.0
Smith said he killed his older daughters because they reminded him of his wife, but chose not to kill the youngest because she "reminded him of himself."
@HuffPost I do believe that man to be crazy. Yeesh. Thought and prayers to that 3 year old. She's gonna need all the support she can get.— John R A Whitlock (@John R A Whitlock) 1555278678.0
@HuffPostCrime That poor 3 year old so sad glad child survived— Kathy Richardson (@Kathy Richardson) 1555242817.0
He rationalized his killings by telling detectives that:
"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."
”in God’s eyes’ it seemed right to carry out the murders’! Austin Smith thought his wife was having an affair, kill… https://t.co/t8Q73b5pDN— konniemoments1 (@konniemoments1) 1555198818.0
@HuffPostCrime Y’all gotta stop bribing God into the bad crap y’all do.😒😒— 💜Hey Amber! 💜 (@💜Hey Amber! 💜) 1555276430.0
@HuffPostCrime By his way of thinking, god would be ok with him getting the death penalty.— Naranjita Dulce (@Naranjita Dulce) 1555258302.0
Smith's murderous rampage continued outside his home.
After murdering three members of his family, Smith went to the apartment where his brother was staying. There, he confronted Ron Freeman, 46, who told Smith he was crazy for thinking his wife would cheat on him.
Smith fired shots at Freeman and continued to do so even after the victim had fallen to the ground. The family friend was declared dead at the scene when police arrived.
A 47-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man were additionally shot as part of an intervention with Smith at the apartment complex, but both survived and are in critical condition, according to The Arizona Central.
Smith was arrested Thursday night after fleeing from the apartment complex where neighbors reported hearing gunshots.
@HuffPost This is awful and super frustrating 😡. Poor kids and the poor scared 3 year old. Heartbreaking.— from concentrate (@from concentrate) 1555278262.0
Officers discovered a 9mm handgun, a .45 calibre handgun and a .223 calibre rifle after searching Smith's vehicle and believe they were used in the rampage, according to a probable cause statement.
Cynthia Patterson, Dasia's mother, spoke out over the tragic killings on Saturday.
"My daughter was one of the most humble in the world. Sweet, honest, and wouldn't harm anyone."
The family issued the following statement:
"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."
"We understand that it is the weekend, but we are hoping that the authorities can help reunite us with her as soon as possible so that she is not in the care of strangers at this incredibly painful time. Finally, we ask that the public respect our privacy so that we may begin healing."
Smith is being held on a $2 million bond.