SMITH COUNTY - Tyler had four homicides in 2017, the results of shootings that left five people dead.
Tyler Police Department has made arrests in three of the cases, while one remains unsolved.
“Our primary job is to find justice for the victim, the family and if possible, closure to all involved,” Tyler Police Department Assistant Chief Billy Yates said of the cases.
The homicide numbers in 2017 are consistent with recent years, which saw four and five homicides in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The fatal shootings included a murder-suicide of a couple known for patriotic re-enactments, an altercation at a pool hall, a shooting on Lawrence Street and a man shot at an apartment complex.
“These types of crimes can be very taxing on our investigators, but because of the very nature of the crime we never lose our focus,” Yates said. “We also understand how important it is to the victim’s family that we maintain our focus in order to arrest those responsible for committing the crime.”
In May, police responded to the home of a couple - Stephen Wayne Lee, 64, and Anna Marie Lee, 65 - who regularly attended patriotic events and welcomed new American citizens during naturalization ceremonies.
Police believe that Mr. Lee shot his wife and then himself.
Mrs. Lee was active in Mary Tyler Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames XVII. She was a former director of the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles.
Mr. Lee was involved with the Sons of the American Revolution.
They took part in historical re-enactments and patriotic societies, often wearing period clothing.
Tyler Police Detective Andy Erbaugh said autopsies concluded that they died from gunshot wounds to the head.
A motive could not be determined for the shootings, Erbaugh said.
Pool hall shooting
On July 26, officers called to the Domino Club pool hall on West Morris Street found Earnest Dennis III fatally shot in a parking lot across the street.
The following day, Aquinas Lamar Dixon, 32, of Tyler, turned himself in at Tyler Police Department in connection with the shooting. Dixon is being held in Smith County jail on charges from Smith, Anderson and Houston counties. He has not been indicted on the capital murder charge connected to the pool hall shooting.
Lawrence Street shooting
Police have not determined who is responsible for the Aug. 11 fatal shooting of a man at a residence in the 1600 block of Lawrence Street.
Police were notified that Joshua Alon McGee, 22, of Tyler, had suffered a gunshot wound and was taken by a neighbor to Christus Trinity Mother Frances-Tyler.
Neighbors reported hearing gunshots about 7:30 a.m. Nobody has been arrested in the case.
Erbaugh said there are no new leads in the case.
A 25-year-old Tyler man was fatally shot at the Chelsea Creek Apartments on Nov. 13 in an incident that police said was connected to narcotic activity.
A month after the shooting of Darryl Dewayne Washington Jr., Tyler police charged two men in connection with his death.
Seydadrian Montrez Brown, 26, of Tyler, and Christopher Benard Hardy, 23, of Tyler, who were already incarcerated for other crimes, were charged with capital murder related to this case. They remain in jail with b onds set at $1 million each.
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