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Family: Disabled man, 39, shot dead after answering door

October 18, 2012 3:06:00 PM PDT
Damage from shotgun pellets and bullets tell of a violent evening that ended with a 39-year-old disabled man dead in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.

"All he wanted was peace and somebody just came and took him away from us," said Shirley Smith, victim's sister.

Relatives say a group of young men from outside the apartment complex would hang out in front of Clinton Smith's building. On Wednesday at about 6:30 p.m., Smith urged the group to move on as he often did. His brother was home and saw what happened next.

"Somebody knocked on the door. He let those two guys in. He told them they could stay. They left. Thirty to 45 seconds later somebody knocked on the door. He answered the door and they started shooting," said Jeffery Smith, brother.

"All he wanted was these guys to get off his porch," said Shirley Smith.

"This wasn't for him. This man lived to see 40 years old. God blessed him. Now it takes some thugs to take him away," said Michael Tyler, family friend.

Clinton Smith babysat his nieces and nephews as well as other kids in the area, making sure they got to and from school safely. And he helped neighbors with light projects. He wasn't able to work. Smith had seizures that began when he was nine and a fly ball hit him in the head during a little league game with his team the Robert Taylor Hornets.

Neighbors say Smith tried to encourage young people to do well and treated everyone with respect, even the young men who kept hanging out in front of his apartment building.

"What goes around comes around in this world. And they're gonna catch them. Somebody gonna say something. But that won't bring Clint back," said Geraldine Cooper, neighbor.

"It's hard. I want to react but I got kids. I got family. I still got to be here. I just have to deal with it," said Jeffrey Smith.

Family members suspect rival gang members who were in the building were the offenders' target.


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