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Blue Springs Man Shot By Court Deputies Who Were Serving Eviction Notice

Carlos Moreno/KCUR 89.3
Blue Springs police investigators leave the home of Donald "Eric" Smith on Friday with evidence including a rifle with a scope attached.

Officials said the man pointed a weapon at the deputies.

A Blue Springs man underwent surgery Friday after he was shot by two Jackson County process deputies serving an eviction notice at his home in the 400 block of NW Weschester Court.

At some point shortly after 9 a.m., the man, identified as Donald “Eric” Smith retrieved a weapon and pointed it at them, according to officials. The deputies drew their weapons and shot him.

Two of Smith’s stepchildren, Gage Johnston and Makenna Johnston, said he was unemployed and was expecting the eviction notice. They said his behavior was out of character and they didn’t know he possessed guns.

“This is something he would never do in his whole life,” Makenna Johnston said. “This is mind blowing to all of us.”

She added that Smith struggled with mental illness that seemed to surface last year.

“We were always gym buddies and everything,” Gage Johnston said. “He always seemed to be fine. Then it was late summer and something seemed to snap in him.”

Blue Springs police investigating the incident left the home with several items and what appeared to be a long rifle. Authorities would not immediately comment on the nature of the items recovered from the scene.

Smith’s stepchildren said they were told a counselor would be present at the time of the eviction, but no counselor showed up.

The deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation.

As KCUR’s general assignment reporter and visual journalist, I bring our audience inside the daily stories that matter most to the people of the Kansas City metro, showing how and why events affect residents. Through my photography, I seek to ensure our diverse community sees itself represented in our coverage. Email me at carlos@kcur.org.
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