Hugh Barrington Smith Died After Police Shooting and Chase, but Details Remain a Mystery (UPDATED)

Categories: Crime
nbcmiamifootage.JPG
NBC Miami
Investigators moved vehicles in front of the scene to block news crews from filming it.
Update below the jump, with the name of the BSO deputy who fired his weapon.

If there's one thing that's clear after Friday's police shooting turned deadly chase, it's that the Broward Sheriff's Office isn't releasing many details about it. In fact, BSO investigators have gone out their way to block information after the death of 37-year-old Hugh Barrington Smith.

The incident began after cops pulled over Smith's Honda Accord at the Georgia Pig restaurant in Davie. After a long altercation, Smith resisted arrest, and deputies used a Taser to try to stun him, according to this news release. When that didn't
work, Smith fled and began a high-speed chase heading west on Davie Boulevard.

It ended when Smith's car went airborne and struck a tree. The release states that he died at the scene, but it doesn't say whether he died from shots fired during the shooting or from the crash.

That's not the only thing BSO isn't releasing. That includes: Smith's address, the names of deputies who fired shots, how many shots were fired, and why Smith was being sought by deputies.

BSO says Smith had an "extensive" criminal history and had been under investigation by a multi-agency taskforce. The reason for that investigation isn't clear, and without Smith's address, it's difficult for news agencies to confirm BSO's claims of his criminal past.

When investigators dug through Smith's car, they say, the found large quantities of drugs and $46,000 in cash. But during the crash investigation, BSO officials moved large vehicles in front of the scene to block news cameras.

What were they hiding? BSO spokesman Mike Jachles didn't return a phone call from the Juice this morning, so it looks like we'll add that to the list of mysteries surrounding Smith's death.

Update: Jachles called to say there isn't much he can release because it remains an ongoing investigation. He said he didn't see anything odd about the details that haven't been released.

"It's still an open investigation. This is a guy who was the subject of an investigation, and it's still open," he said.

Asked why BSO wouldn't, at least, release the name of the deputy who fired, Jachles said: "It's not CSI Miami where it's done in five minutes."

Update 2: The Broward Sheriff's Office has released the name of a deputy who fired his weapon in the pursuit. It's not certain that his gunshot killed Smith, as the Fort Lauderdale and Miramar police departments were also involved and their detectives may have fired shots -- more on that to come. The BSO deputy who fired his gun is Darryl Hodges, a 23-year department employee. News archives don't turn up much else on him, although he's shown here, at left, at the scene of a car accident. Jachles says information on the number and direction of shots fired is still sealed as part of an ongoing investigation.

My Voice Nation Help
0 comments

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...