SHALIMAR, Fla. (AP) — A man who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy threatened to put someone "in a coffin" if his wife called police after he physically abused her, the woman wrote in a request for a restraining order filed one day before the shooting.
Carolina Smith wrote in her request for a restraining order filed Monday in Okaloosa County, Florida, that her 33-year-old husband, Joel Dixon Smith, had been watching their 8-month-old baby Sunday night when the boy rolled off their bed. As she comforted the boy, she told Smith he needed to watch the baby when he was on the bed.
She wrote that as she held the baby, Smith grabbed her neck, pushed her against the wall and grabbed her phone as she tried to call police. She says he then told her "someone was leaving in a coffin" if she called police.
She wrote that she contacted her father-in-law, and he convinced Joel Smith to leave the house.
In court documents she filed Monday, she wrote that Smith owned a 9 mm handgun and two shotguns.
On Tuesday, Smith went to his attorney's office to be served with the restraining order by Okaloosa County Deputy Bill Myers and to hand over his firearms as required by the order. Sheriff Larry Ashley said Smith pulled a concealed handgun and shot Myers multiple times in the back of the head and in the back as they walked to Smith's car to retrieve his guns. Myers, 64, died hours later at a hospital.
Myers, a veteran deputy, had come out of retirement in January to work part-time serving court papers to earn money to take his granddaughter to Walt Disney World.
Smith, a postal carrier, fled in his truck to the hotel he had checked into after leaving his house. He died in a shootout with other deputies following a standoff.
Carolina Smith in an email declined to answer questions from The Associated Press.
"On behalf of all the families that are involved and the entire community we wish to extend our hearts and condolences to all concerned," she wrote in a statement. "We are heartbroken by the events of (Tuesday) and understand that words cannot adequately express our sorrow for those lost."