Police have said they may never know what sparked Smith’s spree early Monday, but the calls detail his attempts to reach out to acquaintances and his admissions of his actions.
Smith, 41, drove to the homes of several people he knew through his work as a contractor for the U.S. Postal Service in Greensboro and called at least one former classmate and another female acquaintance, according to the recordings released by Guilford Metro 911.
Investigators say he is responsible for the deaths of Jaime Lynn Goode, 36, and Michaela Dionne Brewington, 46, and for critically injuring Deborah Kay Huffines, 53, who called 911 and identified Smith as her attacker. She remains in stable condition at Moses Cone Hospital. Police said she will require several surgeries.
By 5:50 a.m. Monday, Smith had confessed to those crimes to one woman. Police did not release the names of the 911 callers.
“He kept saying he killed three people,” a woman who described herself as a former classmate said on the first 911 call.
The woman said Smith told her that he shot a woman who he said was his fiancee and beat two women with a crowbar, one at the post office on Yanceyville Street. The woman said Smith told her he believed one of the women survived.
“She wouldn’t die, she kept crawling,” the caller said Smith told her. “He said blood was coming out of one of their mouths. He was just hollering and crying. He said he didn’t know what to do.”
The caller said that Smith told her he wanted to commit suicide and that he was upset that he was supposed to take his daughter to school the next day.
She told the operator and a man who joined the call from the 911 center that she knew Smith had previous mental issues.
Smith wanted to come to the woman’s house, she said. The woman instead convinced him she would meet him at Moses Cone Hospital.
While she was talking to police at 5:58 a.m., Smith’s number flashed on her cell phone, and she gave that number to police.
She told the operator she was glad Smith didn’t know her address. “He just called out of the blue...
“I’m just sitting here thinking back,” the caller said. “I had a class gathering about three years ago. He didn’t come. I’m so glad he didn’t come.”
Another female caller said Smith did visit her home at about 8:15 a.m. Monday.
The woman, who sobbed hysterically throughout the call, said she let Smith into her livingroom. He told her he wanted to see the local television news.
“He opened the door. He looked really crazy,” the woman said, “but that’s not the first time I've seen him look that way.”
The woman’s connection to Smith is unclear from the call. She tells the operator that Smith looked upset as he watched the television. When she asked what was wrong, Smith told her he wanted to know about an assault at the post office.
The caller described Smith as becoming increasingly odd. When she told him she needed to take her daughter to school, he left the house.
“When I got ready to go outside to take my daughter to school, he was still standing in the parking lot staring back up at my car,” she said.
The caller said she didn't know exactly what Smith wanted to see on her television until she heard news reports at noon.
Smith made repeated early morning visits to two men in the same Greensboro neighborhood. In calls to 911 both men said they worked with Smith at the post office.
A man twice called 911 from 3603 Bethany Trace. He said that a man repeatedly rang his doorbell at about 7 a.m., but that he didn’t answer the door because he thought the man might want to rob him.
“I had a weapon, but I didn’t discharge it or anything,” the caller said. “Nobody ever, ever, rings my doorbell at this time in the morning.”
The caller said the man walked up to his door “but got into a white Mercedes and drove away.”
The caller contacted 911 again at 11:36 a.m. when a neighbor told him the man in the white Mercedes was back on Bethany Trace. Both the neighbor and the first caller identified the man as Smith, a fellow post office employee.
“We all work in the postal service,” the caller said. “We all know each other.”
Police spotted Smith driving the Mercedes shortly before noon Monday and gave chase. Smith shot himself after his vehicle struck a tree in the 3300 block of Elm-Eugene Street.
Preliminary autopsy results released Thursday confirmed that Smith and Goode died from gunshot wounds. Greensboro Police Capt. Mike Richey declined to say where or how many times Goode was shot. Brewington died from blunt force trauma. Both women were found dead in their homes.
Goode’s two children, whom neighbors identified as sons, were asleep in their beds in the family home on Sydney Oaks Drive when police found their mother shot to death in a first-floor room.
Police spokeswoman Susan Danielsen said officers made sure Goode’s children did not see their mother’s body as they left the house. They are in the care of family members, Danielsen said.
Goode’s body was discovered after the attack on Huffines, Danielsen said.
We were following up on some information that we received from people who knew Smith,” she said. We weren't sure if she was in any danger, just that she had a connection to him. Based on the viciousness of the attack (on Huffines), we were checking on a lot of people who could be in danger.