DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The fatal shooting of Karen Smith ended her decades-long abusive relationship with her estranged husband, Ferdinand Smith. Police arrested Smith at his Duncanville home, eight hours after the deadly shooting in a UT Southwestern parking garage. He admitted to detectives that he went to that lot to wait for Karen to get off work, so they could discuss their relationship. According to police, he confessed he shot Karen when he became enraged.
Dallas police say there was a warrant for Ferdinand’s arrest at the time of the shooting. Karen had complained December 14th that he had choked her unconscious four days earlier.The department says proper procedures were followed to get a warrant issued and, on the day of her death, January 8th, warrant officers were doing their “final due diligence” before trying to make an arrest.
According to court documents obtained by CBS 11, Ferdinand had a long, violent history that left Karen in fear for her life on multiple occasions. Karen filed for and was granted a protective order in April 1999. In a handwritten note submitted with the order, Karen described Ferdinand threatened to kill her and himself, while holding a knife to her throat. She also described Ferdinand raping her at knifepoint and pointing a knife at her stomach when she was pregnant, while threatening to kill the her and the baby if she fell asleep. She also described abuse dating back to 1984 and a previous restraining order.
Dallas police say Ferdinand confessed to the shooting, using the gun he used on his job as a security officer at Faith Family Academy.
However, officials for the academy say Smith did not carry a weapon while working at the school. They also issued the following statement:
“Faith Family Academy is grieving the acts of family violence which took the life of one of our friends… It is with a heavy heart we as a school are dealing with the incidents that have occurred over these past 24 hours, and the family will remain in our thoughts and prayers. Faith Family Academy remains committed to the security of its students, staff and community.”
Tammika Jones, sends several children to school at the academy, and could not believe the charges Ferdinand is facing.
“I teared up immediately, because the man is so friendly, he knows everybody,” says Jones. “At some point did they miss doing a background check, or are the background checks not thorough enough?”
The academy says the background check it performed on Smith showed no convictions.
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