Police searching for leads in Phoenix man’s 2016 shooting death

Jul 26, 2021, 10:45 AM
Robert Smith Jr. was killed in Phoenix in April 2016. (Silent Witness Photo)...
Robert Smith Jr. was killed in Phoenix in April 2016. (Silent Witness Photo)
(Silent Witness Photo)

This article originally appeared Aug. 8, 2016.

Saturday, April 16, 2016, at 2:30 a.m., Phoenix police responded to a call of shots fired in a neighborhood near 31st Avenue and Baseline Road.

“When they got there, they found our victim laying in the middle of the street with what appeared to be several gunshot wounds,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Jamie Rothschild said.

Robert Smith Jr. was 46. He was a veteran who had several siblings and a daughter.

Rothschild said investigators don’t believe Smith was necessarily shot in the street where they found him.

“At the time that this happened, we’re thinking that he was sitting in his car listening to music,” he said.

Witnesses said that several minutes after hearing the gunfire, they heard a vehicle drive south on 31st Drive then east on Fremont Road.

Smith’s family said it wasn’t unusual for him to be up in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of other people awake at that hour so finding witnesses and leads has been challenging.

But Rothschild is hoping people who live or work nearby still might be able to help solve this case by checking their surveillance video from that date if they have cameras outside.

Read more about this case here.

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