‘Difficult to Understand a Homicidal Mind’ [VIDEO]
Sioux Falls Police Captain Greg VandeKamp held a news conference on Tuesday to lay out the sequence of events that led to the death of two people at the Cost Cutters on West 41st Street (see full video below). Tragically, the suspect had been in jail on a domestic violence just two days earlier.
According to VandeKamp, Tyrone Smith, 38, started a series of events that began on Sunday, and culminated in the death of not only himself, but 24-year-old Amanda Connors.
On Sunday at approximately 9:45 pm, police were called to a residence shared by Smith, his girlfriend and their two children. At that time, Smith was arrested on a simple domestic violence charge and transported to Minnehaha County jail. He was later served with a protection order, directing that he stay away from his girlfriend and their two children.
On Tuesday around 12:45 pm, Smith arrived at daycare facility at 18th and Holly and demanded that he be allowed to leave with the two children. VandeKamp said that the daycare provide told Smith that "he was not allowed to be there and she could not release the children to him."
At which point Smith produced a small caliber handgun and demanded the children. VandeKamp said there were other children present at the daycare, but were asleep at the time.
Smith then zip-tied the daycare provider to a chair, removed the battery from her cell phone and fled the residence with his two children. The daycare provider was able to get loose, and called police at 12:54 pm.
Police speculate that Smith then drove to the Cost Cutters, where his girlfriend was employed, to confront her.
Amanda Connors, who had just left Cost Cutters and was sitting in her car in the parking lot, spotted Smith. Connors was apparently aware of the previous altercation between Smith and his girlfriend and called the girlfriend and warned her of his approach.
- Read KIKN's Jay Williams story about how the shooting has affected him on a personal level: 'Amanda Connor Believed in Something Bigger'
Smith then proceeded to enter the Cost Cutters, along with his children, and was met at the door by his girlfriend.
At that point, Connors pulled her car up to the front of the salon and words were exchanged between her and Smith. At that point, Smith fired a single shot into Connor's car, striking her in the head. Connors car surged forward and struck two other vehicles.
Smith retreated into the store and locked the door.
Witnesses in the strip mall where the Cost Cutters was located, called police to report an accident and attempted to attend to Connors. Police received the call at 12:58 pm and were on scene within minutes. They discovered Connors already dead inside her car.
During this time and just prior to the police's arrival, fired a second shot inside the Cost Cutters, grazing one of the employees. He then proceeded to zip tie the 3 employees and his girlfriend, while stating that he planned to end his own life. There were no customers in the salon at that time.
Additional law enforcement personnel arrived and secured the building and the surrounding area.
After about 20 minutes, the employees were able to convince Smith to release them. As they departed the salon, they reportedly heard a single gunshot.
After a prolonged standoff, police entered the building and found Smith dead of a single gunshot wound to the head.
VandeKamp stated that he had no record of any previous violence between Smith and his girlfriend prior to the incident on Sunday. Still, VandeKamp pointed out that it was not uncommon for domestic issues to escalate into violence quickly over a short period of time.
As to why Smith killed Connors, VandeKamp responded it's "difficult to understand a homicidal mind."
An account has been set up at all Wells Fargo locations in Amanda Connor's name to help pay for funeral and other expenses. Donations are welcome at any Wells Fargo Bank.
Video of Full Police News Conference [31 Minutes]
Photo of Tyrone Smith Courtesy of Inforum.com
Photo of Amanda Connors Courtesy of Facebook