Slain ETX man's widow pleads for help finding his killer
JEFFERSON, TX (KSLA) - The widow of slain East Texas man is pleading for help finding the man who fatally shot her husband.
Marie Smith, of Jefferson, Texas, said she wants him found before he could hurt someone else.
"I'm begging you please find him and put him away for years so that he'll suffer for what he's done to my husband."
Family members of 68-year-old Jackie Smith, of Jefferson, say that he is dead and that the man they think shot him is a nephew of his.
Diane Walker, of Jefferson, identified the slain man as her stepfather, Jackie Smith, and said law officers are looking for Joe Earl Smith, also of Jefferson.
That information has not been confirmed by authorities.
Nor have authorities said how the shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at a residence in the 1700 block of U.S. Highway 59, also known as North Walcott Street.
Diane Walker said they were working on family-owned property in a wooded area behind Jackie Smith's residence when he and his nephew got into an argument.
The two were known to have disagreements, she said.
This time, Walker said, the nephew was upset about the two cutting back brush in the wooded area behind their homes.
The nephew left, returned with a gun and twice shot Jackie Smith, Diane Walker said. "It was total hate in his face."
Walker said the nephew then pointed the gun at her.
That's when his sister came out of Joe Earl Smith's mother's house and yelled at him, saying "No, Joe, no!"
At that point, the nephew - whom they described only as having a stocky build and short hair - put the gun to his side and left.
The family said they were told he left in a white Ford Explorer. They were unsure of the tag number.
As of about 7 p.m. Wednesday, most of the law enforcement officers had left the property where the slaying occurred.
Earlier that afternoon, authorities actively were searching for the alleged gunman, a Marion County, Texas, sheriff's dispatcher said.
Deputies said residents in the surrounding areas were notified.
Jefferson schools and nursing homes were placed on lockdown, according to the sheriff's office.
The high school is less than mile from the residence where the man was slain.
A representative of Jefferson Independent School District said nothing happened at any of its campuses, but they were placed on lockdown as a precaution.
Parents were allowed to pick up their children from school at the end of the class day; however, school buses are not running their routes, according to a Facebook post attributed to Supt. Rob Barnwellby.
The investigation is being led by the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Also involved are the Jefferson Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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