Authorities investigating double homicide in Smith County

East Texas News at 6.
Updated: Jun. 29, 2020 at 7:14 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Authorities in Smith County are investigating a double homicide that happened early Monday morning.

It happened in the 5300 block of Highway 110 North in Tyler, near the intersection with New Harmony Road.

“We didn’t realize what happened until this morning,” said Moises Garcia, who lives next door to the scene. “We saw the patrol units were not leaving and we saw the yellow ribbons everywhere.”

Neighbors said they didn’t know much about what happened early this morning on Highway 110, but investigators are working to learn everything.

Shortly after 12:30 Monday morning, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call and found two deceased Hispanic males.

“We discovered there was a third individual who showed up at a Tyler hospital with gunshot wounds, as well,” said Larry Smith, the Smith County sheriff.

Smith said this is a case with multiple scenes, in multiple parts of the county — both homes and vehicles — aside from the residence on 110.

“The two deceased individuals that we found at that location do not belong to that residence,” said Smith. “They were the ones who came there and both of them were armed, as well.”

In an interview Monday morning, Smith said his department was looking for the homeowner and his nephew. He said he was told they fled the scene.

As of Monday afternoon, an arrest warrant was issued for one suspect, but the name was not released. Smith said there may be another warrant for another suspect to come later.

“We believe they left the Smith County area, but we have some potential location where they’re headed,” said Smith.

Smith said tattooing on the two victims makes investigators think there is gang affiliation involved, which opens up additional resources in the East Texas Anti Gang Center.

“We’re utilizing emergency traces on multiple firearms we located in different locations,” said Smith.

If the arrest warrant doesn’t pan out as they expect, Smith said he’ll be enlisting the public’s help to find information and suspects.

At this time, the names of the victims have not been released.

KLTV's Alex Leroux has more on the incident

The full press release from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office said:

On June 29, 2020 at approximately 12:35 a.m. Smith County Deputies responded to a deadly conduct call in the 5300 block of Hwy 110 North (Van Hwy) in Tyler. Upon the arrival of Deputies, two deceased Hispanic male subjects were located in the front yard of this residence with apparent gunshot wounds. The crime scene was immediately secured and additional personnel were notified.

Upon the arrival of Smith County Investigators and the Crime Scene Unit the investigation expanded with additional law enforcement agencies called in to assist. Smith County Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Jon Johnson arrived on scene for the inquest. Judge Johnson ordered an autopsy on both victims and their bodies were removed to Forensic Medical in Tyler.

It was later learned that a third Hispanic male victim was transported to UT Health in Tyler by private vehicle. After surgery, this victim is listed in stable condition.

Smith County Investigators are actively working several crime scenes at this time. The Sheriff’s Office is working concurrently with Texas DPS Criminal Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, Tyler Police Department and The Smith County District Attorney’s Office on this investigation.

This is an active homicide investigation and further information will be released as it becomes available. The name of the victims are being withheld at this time pending notification of next of kin.

For more information on the Smith County Sheriff’s Office visit The Sheriff’s Office also has a FB page and can be followed on Twitter at @SmithCSO.

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