Danville police: Pawn shop customer apparently was robbed by shooter

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comSeptember 23, 2013 

  • Police seek information

    Danville police are seeking information about the suspect in Friday's triple homicide. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has offered a $10,000 reward. People with information should call Danville police at (859) 238-1220 or (859) 238-1224.

Daniel P. Smith, a victim in Friday's triple homicide at a Danville pawn shop, apparently was robbed of money by the gunman, who remained at large Monday, Danville Police Chief Tony Gray said.

Smith, 60, of Richmond, bought gold from area pawn shops and other businesses, Gray said. Smith routinely visited ABC Gold, Games and More in Danville, where he was killed about 9 a.m. Friday with pawn shop owner Michael Hockensmith, 35, and his wife, Angela Hockensmith, 38.

Gray said police think that money "Mr. Smith may have had on his person" or had with him to conduct a transaction was missing. He said police were working to determine the amount.

Gray said he knew of no problems that the Hockensmiths or Smith had that would have foreshadowed their deaths.

"We are looking at all avenues and aspects at this time," Gray said.

He said police were exploring whether Smith was a target.

"He frequented that establishment. He had a routine" of visiting the pawn shop at specific times, Gray said.

Smith would buy gold from pawn shops and other establishments and take them "to a facility that did the melting process," he said.

Gray told the Herald-Leader Monday that police were interviewing witnesses to try to identify a vehicle that apparently was seen in the area about the time of the killings and that they think could be involved.

The Danville Advocate-Messenger reported that police said the gunman might have gotten away in a newer model gray or silver van.

Witnesses have said that a heavyset white man, 40 to 50 years old, with a dingy white beard and wearing a green army-style jacket, was seen outside the shop before the shooting, Gray said. The Danville newspaper said the suspect also was wearing sunglasses.

The shooter left through the store's garage door and went down a narrow alley between the pawn shop and a dry cleaners, Gray has said.

The Hockensmiths' 9-year-old son, Andrew, was at the pawn shop with his toddler sister when the robbery and shooting occurred. Andrew called 911, police said.

Boyle County Coroner Don Hamner said Monday that each of the victims died of multiple gunshot wounds, but he declined to elaborate.

Michael Hockensmith was a youth minister at a Baptist church. His wife often helped him in the store. She also home-schooled Andrew, friends said.

Smith was raised in Indiana and moved to Kentucky in the late 1990s, his wife, Sarah Smith, said Monday.

"He truly fell in love with Central Kentucky and we've made Kentucky our home," she said.

Smith had eight children and 25 grandchildren, Sarah Smith said.

"He loved all of them very much. He will be greatly missed by his family," she said.

Smith's obituary on the Combs, Parsons & Collins Funeral Home website said he was a self-employed businessman and a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam.

Visitation for the Hockensmiths will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Southern Oaks Funeral Home in Somerset. Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Graveside services for Smith will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Jessamine County. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Combs, Parsons & Collins Funeral Home in Richmond.


Police seek information

Danville police are seeking information about the suspect in Friday's triple homicide. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has offered a $10,000 reward. People with information should call Danville police at (859) 238-1220 or (859) 238-1224.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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