Suspect in Smith County murder found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound

K9 located the suspect hiding before shooting himself

Suspect in Smith County murder found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The Smith County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect in a murder in Smith County has been found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to the sheriff’s office, on May 13, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Smith County Patrol Deputies were dispatched to a Deadly Conduct call at a residence in the 13800 block of County Road 2122 in Tyler. Upon the arrival of deputies, the victim was located inside the residence suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Deputies assisted with first aid on the victim until UT Health East Texas EMS arrived a short time later.

The release said the suspect fled the scene prior to the arrival of deputies and a perimeter was immediately established around a large area of wooded acreage. These deputies were assisted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Game Wardens, Whitehouse PD, Troup PD and Smith County Pct. 3 Constables Office. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was deployed to the location and were able to clear the suspect’s residence to find he was not inside.

LIVE: Horses, drone brought in to help with search near scene of Smith County homicide

Smith County Sheriff’s personnel, including investigators and the Crime Scene Unit, have maintained an active presence at this location throughout the night and are currently processing the scene. A search warrant was issued by Smith County Court at Law #2 Judge Taylor Heaton authorizing the scene processing.

The release said a manhunt reconvened Tuesday morning by Smith County Sheriff’s Office personnel and with the assistance of tracking canines from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division. One of the TDCJ canines located the suspect, Robert Melvin Galbraith in a wooded area behind his residence on Smith County Road 2122. At that time, Robert Melvin Galbraith, 63, of Tyler expired from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Prior to the manhunt, an arrest warrant was issued by 241st State District Judge Jack Skeen for Galbraith for the offense of murder. Judge Skeen set bond at $750,000. The warrant will be recalled as a result of the death of the suspect, Galbraith.

The release said the victim has been identified as Justin Ray Alec Cross, 18, of Holly Lake Ranch, Texas. He was transported to UT Health East Texas where he was pronounced a short time later. Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Quincy Beavers was notified for the inquest. Beavers ordered an autopsy and the body was transported to Southwest Forensics in Dallas.

PREVIOUS STORY: Drones and horses were called in to aid with a search following a homicide that occurred late Monday night.

More than a dozen Smith County Sheriff’s Office vehicles and a SWAT vehicle were at a scene outside a residence on County Road 2315, southeast of Tyler.

At least one person was killed, but additional information was not released.

Tuesday morning, law enforcement officials were out searching the area again. Horses were called in to help aid with the search. Dogs from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as well as ATVs were also called in to help.

At one point before midnight, law enforcement had been using a loudspeaker to call a man believed to be inside the home in a small neighborhood. No one emerged from the home, according to our reporter at the scene.

Smith County Shooting 6AM Brennon

A helicopter was also called in to help in a search of the area Monday night, according to Chief Deputy Jimmy Jackson.

He would not confirm whether a suspect was in custody, however authorities said there is no current threat to the public.

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