KILLEEN, Texas — It has been four years since a St. Croix father of seven children was gunned down during an early morning drive-by shooting in Texas, and the man’s mother is asking potential witnesses to come forward.
Glenroy Joseph Smith Jr., was 34 years old on August 25, 2017, when he was shot and killed. No arrests were ever made in the case.
Smith, who would have turned 38 years old in May, was known as “Isaiah.”
“He was our first child and his dad wanted him to be a junior,” said Smith’s mother, Catherine Scott. “So, we compromised and named him junior but called him Isaiah. It means, ‘Saved by God.’”
Scott, who lives in St. Croix, said she is thinking about adding her own funds to the $1,000 reward currently being offered for information. The Killeen Police Department announced the reward money in November last year; now Scott wonders if adding $4,000, to that amount would spark someone finally to come forward.
“I need to find out who did this to my child and see them prosecuted, but I know I might not ever find out why someone would do that to him,” Scott said. “I think about it every day. I’m hoping and praying that someone will come forward, even if it’s just to point the detective in the right direction. Somebody had to have seen something, and many of those homes had surveillance cameras.”
Photos of her son, at all ages, abound in Scott’s home.
“We had a lot of good memories,” Scott said. “We did so much together from the time that he was a little boy dressed in his Lee jeans and corduroys. He and I were always out, going all over the place.”
Smith grew up to be a hard-working man who kept out of trouble, Catherine said.
He left behind six daughters and one son. “They were a blessing to him,” Scott said.
“He always did everything he could to make sure his children were taken care of,” Scott said. “When he wasn’t working, he was home with them. He showed them a lot of love. He never wanted to see them cry, especially his little boy.”
She said that her son, who had moved to Texas from the USVI to work at his father’s business, was living a good life.
“Everybody loved him, he was a good guy who would help anybody,” Scott said. “This makes it harder for me.”
Although there are plenty of memories for Scott, she keeps returning to the last time that she saw her son. She had flown over the Caribbean Sea to visit him and her grandkids.
“I’ll always remember that day when I had to leave and he took me to the airport,” she said. “Before I had gotten home, he’d posted a photo of me and him on Instagram, saying that he wished I didn’t have to leave and that he missed me already.”
He would be gone less than two weeks later.
One of many murder investigations
Killeen police officers found Smith with a gunshot wound when they responded to a shooting call at 4:41 a.m. in the 5300 block of Allegany Drive.
Police said a vehicle of unknown make and model drove by and fired several shots into the home where he and the children were sleeping. Police said family members immediately called 911. Smith was pronounced dead at 6:39 a.m. at the hospital.
A Texas homicide detective said in an email that Smith’s case “is currently suspended pending investigational leads.”
In a previous interview, Scott expressed her hope that a ballistics investigation could lead to a suspect.
“The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, NIBIN, has been completed,” said KPD Detective Sgt. Christina Ocampo. “There were no hits or matches on any other criminal investigations.” The $1,000 reward has not generated any additional Crime Stopper tips, Ocampo said.
Although Scott wants to ensure the case file does not get dusty, dozens of criminal homicide cases have been stacked onto KPD detectives’ workloads since Smith died.
The year 2017 saw 18 criminal homicides. Arrests were made in six of those death cases and criminal murder convictions and prison sentences resulted in four of those cases, according to the Herald’s research.
The rate of criminal homicides in 2018 dipped to seven, with arrests made in four of those cases. The next year, criminal homicides more than doubled, to 17. In 2020, Killeen experienced another high in criminal homicides: 26. Arrests were made in the majority of those murder cases, but nine criminal homicides, including a triple homicide, remain unsolved.
As of September 12, Killeen police said they are investigating nine more criminal homicides.
Scott is not alone: 31 of the criminal homicides that occurred between 2017-2020 remain unsolved.
Scott was asked what advice she could give to other mothers who are awaiting justice.
“I would tell them not to give up,” Scott said. “Trust in God that there is a light at the end. God is good. Sometimes it’s hard, but I still believe.”
Bell County (Texas) Crime Stoppers has several ways to report information anonymously: call 254-526-8477 or visit the website at www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com. Anyone with information can call KPD at 254-501-8830.