High school sweethearts shot dead

The Poland couple’s daughter told a 911 dispatcher she believed her father killed her mother and then himself.



POLAND — A sign in a back window of the Stymie Road house where a man apparently shot and killed his wife and then himself reads: “This house guarded by shotgun three nights per week. You guess which three.”

Police were called to 6931 Stymie shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday after a woman called Mahoning County 911 upon finding her parents, William and Kathleen Smith, both 56, dead inside.

“My dad just got out of the hospital, and I think he did it to my mom and then himself,” their 32-year-old daughter, Billie Wright, said in the 911 recording.

Wright, who lives down the road from her parents, said through sobs that she went to check on them because no one had been able to reach them all day.

Wright told the dispatcher that she wasn’t sure what happened.

“There’s blood everywhere,” she cried. “I think it was a gun.”

A brief statement from the Mahoning County Coroner’s office said there is no ruling in either death, and that the shootings remain under investigation by township police and the coroner’s office.

The Smith home, a white-with-green-trim, two-story house, built in 1922, boasts well-kept flower beds out front and a wooden glider on the front porch.

Family members on Thursday declined to speak to The Vindicator. Neighbors on the mostly rural, winding road at the eastern edge of the township were reluctant to speak.

One neighbor, who didn’t want her name used, said Kathleen Smith was to pick up her grandchild on Wednesday but didn’t show up.

The woman said the Smiths were high school sweethearts.

The couple, whom she has known since they were children, were very friendly and she knew of no problems between them.

“I’m just devastated,” the woman said.

Everyone on that street has lived there for years. Many grew up there.

“They were nice people to have known,” she said.

Another neighbor, who also didn’t want her name used, described the Smiths as wonderful people.


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