‘Tragic event’ in Van Zandt County as husband kills wife, self, sheriff says

Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office
Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office(Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The Van Zandt County Sheriff says a man killed his wife and then himself recently in the Whitton Community.

According to Sheriff Joe Carter, on Labor Day, Paul Howard Smith, 72, sent a friend a text that was concerning, so the friend called the sheriff’s office asking for a welfare check.

Constable Precinct 2 Heath Burton arrived first at the home. He found a man and a woman on the back porch. Both had died of gunshot wounds.

Detectives and deputies with the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office identified Paul Smith as the shooter based on evidence at the scene, and said it appears he shot his wife, Sally Nan Smith, 66, of Canton, first, killing her, and then shot himself once, after which he died.

Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 Sandra Plaster conducted an Inquest. Both the man and woman were sent to Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas for autopsy.

The sheriff said that it was a tragic event for all involved, and extended the sheriff’s office’s condolences to the Smith family.