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UPDATE: Lone shooting survivor out of hospital

By: Phil Pendleton, Angela Sparkman Email
By: Phil Pendleton, Angela Sparkman Email
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Family members say Robin Smith is out of the hospital.

MGN Online

KNOX COUNTY/BELL COUNTY (WYMT) - UPDATE Monday 6:00 pm

Family members tell WYMT Robin Smith has been released from the hospital.

Her father Michael Smith and brother Dustin both died in the shooting last week at their home in Pineville.

On Wednesday, Robin Smith told us from her hospital bed that she and her nephew hid outside from the shooter, who police say was former Knox County judge-executive Raymond Smith.

She credited her brother with saving her life.

Raymond Smith later killed himself at a cemetery in Knox County.

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UPDATE Friday 6:00 pm

Friday was supposed to be a day of celebration but instead one Bell County family mourned the loss of two loved ones.

Michael and Dustin Smith were shot and killed earlier this week at their home in Pineville. Dustin was set to go to college on Friday, but instead, friends and family gathered to say goodbye.

Family members shared how they will remember the father and son.

Family members say Michael Smith, 50, would do anything for his family.

"He always wanted to be the big man to take care of everybody," said Linda Coots, Michael Smith's sister.

They say he gave his life for his daughter.

"This is just heartbreaking," Linda Coots said.

His son Dustin Smith, 21, also died protecting his sister Robin.

"Both Michael and Dustin have to be heroes," said Jamie Coots, Michael's brother-in-law.

State Police say former Knox County Judge-Executive Raymond Smith shot them at their home on Tuesday. Robin was also shot but survived she says thanks to her brother.

On Friday, dozens honored the men at their funeral at Creech Funeral Home in Middlesboro.

"They were good people, loving father, loving son, and this is a tragedy, tragic thing for this family," said Andrew Hamblin.

"It's been one of the worse weeks of my life. Me and Michael was really close. He didn't bother nobody and every time you saw him, he had something happy to say," said Linda Coots.

"It's just hard to try to grasp why something like this would happen, did happen," said Jamie Coots.

The family says Dustin was getting ready to start college. He was supposed to move to EKU on Friday. Instead of celebrating his future, they are remembering his life and his father's life.

"After today it's just picking up the pieces and trying to put our lives back together, always in the back of our minds wondering why," said Jamie Coots.

Family members say Robin Smith, 21, is still in UT Medical Center in stable condition and was unable to attend the funeral. Her family videotaped it for her to watch later.

Raymond Smith's funeral was also held on Friday.
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UPDATE Wednesday 6:00 pm

Police think a troubled relationship could have led to a double murder-suicide involving a former Knox County Judge Executive on Tuesday.

Michael Smith, his son Dustin Smith, and former politician Raymond Smith all died.

The only shooting survivor, Robin Smith, the only person who can tell us exactly what happened in that home on Laurel Lakes Road in Bell County, talked with WYMT's Angela Sparkman from her hospital bed.

21-year-old Robin Smith says she was asleep Tuesday morning when Raymond Smith (no relation) knocked on her family's door.

"He hollered my name, and the next thing I know Raymond was busting down my bedroom door with a gun," she said.

She says he shot her dad first. Then she says she grabbed her baby nephew and ran outside.

"I was running out the door and he shot me. My brother hit his arm so he couldn't shoot me in the head. He shot me in my back," Robin Smith said.

She says she and her nephew hid outside while her brother, 21-year-old Dustin Smith fought Raymond Smith. She believes her brother's actions saved her life and her nephew's life.

From her hiding place, she says she saw Raymond Smith look for her, but then she says she saw him drive away.

"I crawled back in the house and I seen my dad and brother dead," she says.

Robin Smith says she had a personal relationship with the former Knox County Judge-Executive but says she ended it months ago. She does not know why he turned violent.

"It's still just a shock that someone could have a heart to do a family like that," she said.

Robin Smith has a long road to recovery, but she says she will never recover the loss of her father and brother.

She is in stable condition at UT Medical Center in Knoxville. She says the baby nephew was not injured.

Other family members are also coping with the loss.

The family tells us Dustin Smith was supposed to go to EKU on Friday. They say Michael always helped people.

"They will be greatly missed. They were greatly loved by family, his brothers and sisters, his mom. It's a bad thing but we're just trying to pray and cope and make it through it," Jamie Coots said. He is brother-in-law to Michael Smith and uncle to Dustin Smith.

Funeral arrangements are set for Michael and Dustin Smith.

Visitation is Friday from 1:00-2:00 p.m. at Creech Funeral Home in Middlesboro. The funeral will follow at 2:00.

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UPDATE Wednesday - 11:00am

On Wednesday, Kentucky State Police say they believe they have found a possible motives in the shootings.

They tell us Robin Smith and Raymond Smith were in a relationship. They say she ended it about a month ago, and that Raymond was upset about the break-up.

The family tells us Robin Smith is out of surgery and is in stable condition in a private room.

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UPDATE 6:00 p.m.

He spent several years as a Judge-Executive but now police say that man shot three people, killing two of them before taking his own life.

Kentucky State Police say they found the three shooting victims in a home on Laurel Lakes Road in Pineville in Bell County.

Police say the alleged shooter, identified as former Knox County Judge-Executive Raymond Smith, then drove to a cemetery in Knox County and shot himself.

The first call brought police to the home on Laurel Lakes Road where police found the bodies of 50-year-old Michael Smith and his 21-year-old son Mychael Dustin Smith.

Mychael Dustin's sister, 21-year-old Robin Smith survived and was airlifted out. Sabrina Cox says she was friends with Mychael Dustin in high school.

"He was a really good writer. And an artist that's what we did together in school," she said.

Piecing together what happened is challenge for state police. They say 51-year-old Raymond Curtis Smith, the former Knox County Judge-Executive went there, shot the three, and then drove 10 miles to where his father is buried and killed himself.

"We are not sure what relationship the alleged shooter had with these individuals, but we are still looking into why he was here in Bell County and why he went to the cemetery," Trooper Shane Jacobs said.

Police say Raymond Smith is not related to the victims in Bell County.

Friends of the victims say they are having difficulties knowing that a father and his son and daughter where the victims of such violence.

"I mean through his pictures seems like he loved his kids. Never would have expected anything to happen to any of them like that," Sarah Davis said.

Several detectives spent hours gathering evidence and interviews hoping that will explain the violent end to three lives.

Raymond Smith was elected in 2002 and served as Knox County Judge-Executive from when he took office in early 2003 to the first few days of 2007 when his term ended.

Many in the courthouse knew him much longer, some even all of their lives. County Clerk Mike Corey grew up with Raymond Smith and worked in the Knox County Courthouse with him. He is still coming to grips of what happened Tuesday morning.

"It's been a terrible tragedy and in our adjoining county of Bell," Corey said.

Kentucky State Police say not long after shooting three people in Bell County, Smith shot himself in Hammons Fork Cemetery in Flat Lick where his father is buried.

Coroner Mike Blevins pronounced him dead at the Knox County Hospital.

"Very surprising," Blevins said.

Blevins says he even saw Smith recently.

"He seemed to be in good humor when you saw him in the street you know, just very shocking," Blevins said.

Other friends and former co-workers described Smith as someone who cared for the people of Knox County while he was in office.

After he left office, Smith pleaded guilty to mail fraud from his time as Judge-Executive. Audits of Smith's administration questioned millions of dollars in spending. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 2008 for his role in a scheme to award construction contracts to firms controlled by his family while he was in office.

Smith spoke to WYMT in 2008 before he went to federal prison for two and half years.

"I've had a good ride. I've tried to help a lot of people. Nobody is worse off for knowing me and I think I stood up for the right thing and I'm sorry that didn't work," Raymond Smith said in a 2008 interview.

Now his friends are grieving the loss of his life and the Bell County family.

My heart goes out to all the families involved in this. It's a great tragedy for this area," Corey said.

Those who knew him say they might never know what led to Smith's alleged actions Tuesday morning.

Those we talked to at the Knox County Courthouse say they do not know Raymond Smith's connection to the victims in Bell County.

Robin Smith was airlifted to UT Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her condition is not released.

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UPDATE 2:37 p.m.

Kentucky State Police officials have confirmed the names of those that died in Monday's shootings.

Michael Smith (50) died along with his son ,Mychael Smith (21). Robin Smith (21) was airlifted from Middlesboro ARH.

Police say that all three of the victims were shot by Raymond Curtis Smith.

Smith, a former judge-executive of Knox County, is said to have driven to a cemetery in Knox County and shot himself afterwards.

Smith died at hospital.

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Kentucky State Police say they found three people found shot just outside Pineville in Bell County.

They say two men have died and one woman has been flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center from the Middlesboro ARH, where she was transported.

The gunman reportedly went to a cemetery in Knox County where his dad is buried and shot himself. He died at the hospital.

We are monitoring this developing story and will provide updates as they become available.


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