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John Elwyn Smith
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West Valley man arrested after saying he shot ailing wife

John Elwyn Smith (Buckeye Police Department Photo)

PHOENIX – A West Valley man was arrested Thursday evening after telling police he shot his wife because she had health issues, authorities said.

The man, 72-year-old John Elwyn Smith, was booked on one count of first-degree murder, Buckeye police said Friday.

His 69-year-old wife was found dead with gunshot wounds inside a home in Sun City Festival, a retirement community in Buckeye.

Smith called 911 around 5:20 p.m. and said he’d shot his wife while she was taking a nap, and he also threatened to shoot himself, police said.

When officers arrived, Smith was outside he house and unarmed. He was taken into custody without incident, police said.

Officers went into the residence and found the woman on the bed in the master bedroom, police said. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

During an interview at the police station, Smith told officers he killed his wife because of health and financial burdens.

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