Spring husband shot to death during struggle with wife over gun, sheriff says

Shannon Ryan Image
Saturday, April 8, 2023
4 children home when struggle over gun leaves husband dead: Sheriff
The Harris County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation in the Spring area on Friday, where a struggle over gun left a husband dead.

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- A couple with a documented domestic violence history got into a struggle over a gun at their Spring-area home, leading to the weapon going off and hitting the husband, deputies say.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to a call in the 25700 block of White Springs Court at about 9:25 a.m. Friday.

Deputies learned preliminarily that an argument took place between husband and wife, Patrick and Merrilyn Smith, leading to the gun discharging and hitting the man, who was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Four children no older than 16 were home for the school holiday, but none of them were harmed.

The sheriff's office acknowledged the case will likely be referred to a grand jury for any possible charges.

Deputies added that the husband was under investigation in the past for reported physical assaults against his wife.

A records search showed Smith has several past criminal charges to his name that were either dismissed or with conditions complete, including two counts of theft by check, driving with a suspended license, and failure to identify to a police officer.

Eyewitness News spoke to neighbors shortly after deputies cleared their investigation. Law enforcement was called to the home the night before, and that child protective services was involved with the children in the past, they said.

The children were turned over to the care of other family members, neighbors added.

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