When you think of Christmas, you think of celebration, family, a wonderful time of the year. But what if tragedy struck your family during that time of year? What if Christmas turned into a sad time?
A man was killed here almost 10 years ago on North Barrow, in between Acadian and Foster, and whoever is responsible is still free. 43-year-old Warren Smith had gone fishing that day down on the spillway with a few of his friends.
According to Detective Robert Gann, "They returned home, about 6:30 in the evening, separated the catch, and his friends went home."
Warren was married, but his wife was over at his older sister's house. It was Christmas Day 1995, and family was gathering to celebrate. He was supposed to be cleaning up, and then he was going to go and see the family. But somebody interrupted him as he was coming out of the laundry room behind his house. Whoever that somebody was, would turn Christmas into a nightmare.
Inside some of the other houses around there, neighbors heard the gunshots. Because of the time of season, it didn't register as gunshots. It was Christmas, they thought they were fireworks. They came outside later and found that they were not fireworks.
"Shortly after, they found Mr. Smith, dead, from multiple gunshot wounds at 4035 North Barrow, in the driveway." That's the house next door. The killer chased him and shot at him while he was trying to get away.
This is normally the time that we introduce you to the family, let you meet the people who have been affected by this. So scared are they, though, of the killer that is still out there, they didn't want to be a part of this. They believe they may actually know who it is.
A community has allowed a killer to live among them for years, as he continues to live off of their fear. A community will have to come together, if they are ever to feel comfortable again. It has to start somewhere.
If you think you can help, call Crime Stoppers at 344-STOP. You can remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.