Child among double murder-suicide victims in Pawnee County

Organizers hope to raise awareness about domestic violence by encouraging people to use a purple lightbulb on their porch.
Published: Jan. 9, 2022 at 3:37 PM CST
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LARNED, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), the Larned Police Department, and the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office released new details on Monday about a shooting in Larned that left three people, including a child dead.

According to the agencies, the investigation determined that just after 3 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, Jon Smith arrived in a pickup truck at Shala Smith’s residence at 524 Park St. in Larned. He entered the house alone, while carrying a shotgun. Evidence indicates that he shot and killed both Shala Smith, his wife although separated, and Carver Smith, his 12-year-old son. He then shot himself. Autopsies confirmed that the manners of death for Shala and Carver were homicide and that Jon’s manner of death was suicide.

Since the tragedy, the community has found ways to help. They created a GoFundMe to help pay for Shala and Carver’s funeral expenses. A city-wide effort is also underway to raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence. Organizers are encouraging people to use a purple lightbulb on their porch, simply a way to honor Shala and Carver.

“I just wanted to make sure Shala would be remembered for helping others. The purple porch light will make sure she will still have a voice and continue to help others,” one organizer said.

Shala was an employee at Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility. On Monday, the facility posted a tribute to her on its Facebook page saying, every member was heartbroken to learn about the death of Shala and Carver.

“Shala embraced her role as a case manager and had the upmost respect from both employees and residents. Her upbeat attitude was infectious and her smile could light up a room. She never backed down from a task and was always on hand to help and support her friends and coworkers,” said the correctional facility.

Every member of the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility is heartbroken today as we announce the loss of a dear...

Posted by Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility on Monday, January 10, 2022

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), the Larned Police Department, and the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office are investigating after three individuals were found shot and killed on Saturday night.

On Saturday, Jan. 8, at approximately 9:05 p.m., the Larned Police Department received a 911 call from a man who discovered three people dead inside a residence in Larned.

When officers arrived at 524 Park St. in Larned, they located 44-year-old Shala M. Smith, of Larned, 12-year-old Carver A. Smith, of Larned, and 44-year-old Jon B. Smith, of Larned, who each died from gunshot wounds. They were pronounced dead by the coroner at the scene.

According to the Pawnee County Attorney, the person responsible for the deadly shooting was among the deceased. There is no threat to the public. Additional details will be released after the autopsies are completed. The investigation is ongoing.

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