Family of Spartanburg shooting suspect speaks out, says he was mentally ill but don’t know motive

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Zip Trip: Spartanburg

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – We are hearing tonight from the family of the who man police told 7 News, shot numerous people, killing one of them and leaving others badly hurt. Deputies have confirmed Shannon Smith was the suspect who ended up dying from gunshot injuries. Smith’s family told 7 News what they believe happened.

“It threw me away when I heard this, I just said he had to have snapped,” said Shannon Smith’s Aunt, Marilyn Murphy.

Marilyn Murphy was picking up photos left behind in the house at the center of it all Friday afternoon. The man police said started it, Shannon Smith, was her nephew.

“He wasn’t young mentally ill, seemed like when he was older something came on him,” Murphy told us.

She said Smith lived in the house with his mom. Adding, they were close. She said so many different scenarios are going through her mind.

“All I can think of is he’s thinking, they out here cutting off his water and cable and he wants to know what they’re out here for,” Murphy said.

Same goes for his cousin, Tereka Murphy who believes, the entire situation could have been handled differently.

“If the only way to handle a mentally unstable person is to sit there and kill them, then they’re going to kill a lot of people,” said Smith’s Cousin, Tereka Murphy.

Spartanburg County’s Sheriff Chuck Wright told 7 News, they did everything they could to end things peacefully.

“This gentleman shot four people and shot at 20 SWAT team members. We don’t hate him, we just hate what he did. Our team did perfect and the City of Spartanburg did perfect,” said Spartanburg County Sheriff, Chuck Wright.

Sheriff Wright added, many on his team are still dealing with the aftermath of the day.

“They’re hurting because they had to take a human life,” said Sheriff Wright.

Sheriff Wright said same goes for the victim’s families who Murphy told us, are in her prayers.

“My heart goes out to the victims. They were working, they weren’t looking for this,” Murphy said.

Smith’s family told 7 News, his mother was also hurt in all of this. At last check, she was still in the hospital but they didn’t know her condition.

You can find more information on the shooting here: https://www.wspa.com/news/top-stories/officers-responding-to-scene-near-cleveland-park-in-spartanburg/

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