23ºF

Detroit standoff: How 3 family members were killed by gunman

Woman's boyfriend kills her, her mother and her aunt; 3 officers shot


DETROIT – Cynthia Williams, her mother Barbara Williams and Cynthia's aunt, Patricia Williams, all were shot and killed Sunday night. 

The broken windows at Cynthia's home on Detroit's east side are horrific reminders of what played out on Lamont Street just off East Outer Drive. 

Police said Cynthia's boyfriend Lance Smith grabbed a gun during a heated argument. Cynthia called her mother, who lived nextdoor, for help. Barbara told her sister Patricia and Patricia's husband, who stayed across the street. 

"They just wanted to see what was going on," said Bernard Hart, a family friend. 

An investigation reveals Smith first killed Cynthia before shooting and killing her mother and aunt outside the home. 

"That's anybody's family if you're in danger, and your family wants to come to resolve the situation," said Hart. 

Patricia's husband is an off-duty Detroit Public Schools police officer. He covered his wife while dialing 911. That prompted a standoff that lasted more than 12 hours. Patricia's husband and two Detroit police officers were shot in the leg. They all are expected to be OK. 

Smith ended up taking his own life. Police found him and Cynthia dead inside the home. He had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 


About the Author: