PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Phoenix Police Department said on Monday that the man accused of going on a shooting spree had his guns taken away and given back to him days later in 2018.

Police said that on Nov. 21, 2018, officers were called out to the home of Austin Smith because somebody said he had a gun and was yelling that people were trying to kill him.

[WATCH: PD: Phoenix man who killed family had his guns taken away in November]

When officers arrived, Smith had a handgun in a holster on his hip, police said.

Smith was cooperative and surrendered to police. But because of his behavior, officers recommended Smith be put in the Urgent Psychiatric Center and they impounded his three guns for safekeeping, according to police.

Seven days later, Smith got his guns back after a records check found he didn't have any outstanding warrants and it was legal for him to have the guns. So, the guns were returned to him, police said.

Smith faces four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault in connection to last week's shootings.

Police said he went on the shooting spree because he believed his wife was having an affair.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Phoenix man accused of killing wife, daughters says 'God told him to shoot']

On Thursday night, police said Austin shot and killed his 29-year-old wife, Dasia Patterson, and his 5-year-old daughter Nasha Smith at their home near 71st Avenue and Camelback Road. He also reportedly beat their 7-year-old daughter Mayan Smith to death with a baseball bat.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with the family's funeral expenses. 

Police also found the couple's 3-year-old daughter hiding under the bed. She was not harmed.

[RELATED: Friends remember murdered mother and 2 daughters]

Police said Austin then went over to an apartment, near 67th Avenue and Indian School Road, where his brother was staying. He thought his brother was having an affair with his wife.

A family friend opened the door, police said, and Austin shot him multiple times.

Police said 46-year-old Ron Freeman died at the scene.

Smith then went to his car and came back with a rifle, police said. He shot two more people. A 47-year-old woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. A 33-year-old man was hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening. It's unclear whether he is Austin's brother.

Austin was arrested a short time later.

[WATCH: Austin Smith makes his first court appearance, judge sets $2 million cash bond]

He told detectives during an interview that he believed “in God’s eyes it was all right for him to deal with someone in this manner who had been involved in adultery or an extramarital affair,” Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.

Police said Austin had a 9mm handgun, a .45 caliber handgun and a .223 caliber rifle that he used in the shootings.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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(1) comment


What law allows authorities to temporarily take peoples' guns away?? I'm not talking about whether they should or should not have taken them - I'm asking specifically what statute gives them lawful authority?

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