KNOXVILLE — A suspect in a triple homicide in Florida is in a standoff Tuesday with Knox County SWAT members at a West Knox County motel.
Chief Deputy Eddie Biggs said they believe the man holed up at the Days Inn, 9240 Park West Blvd., is David Eugene Smith.
Smith, 27, who refers to himself as “Prince David,” is a suspect in the killings of three people near Lakeland, Fla., according to the Polk County County Sheriff’s Office.
Bruce Jones, the front desk clerk at the Days Inn, said he was not at liberty to disclose the identity of guests. Jones said he was speaking from the motel office.
Before authorities arrived, Jones said there’d been no disturbance at the property including the room where authorities are now focused. He said he came on the job at 7 a.m. He’d expected a quiet morning, following the Memorial Day weekend.
“I didn’t know anything until the police arrived,” he said.
The Florida victims have been identified as Danyalla Smith, 31, Nikosi Williams, 25, and Miranda Mims, 28, according to WFTS-TV in Tampa.
Smith is Danyalla’s brother, according to WFTS, which also reported he stole his father’s car and took off after the slayings.
The bodies were discovered Monday inside a house at 5601 Old Highway 37, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Grady Judd told the Lakeland Ledger newspaper that Smith had been living in the house.