A Tyler man accused of fatally shooting two doctors at a dental office in March has been indicted on a murder charge.
Steven Alexander Smith, 40, was charged with capital murder of multiple persons after Tyler residents Blake G. Sinclair, 59, and Jack E. Burroughs, 75, both died from injuries in a March 16 shooting at Affordable Dentures & Implants.
Smith was indicted in the 114th District Court on the charge by a Smith County grand jury in its May 5 session, according to a court agenda.
Smith remains in the Smith County Jail on a $3 million bond. The bond for the murder charge is set at $2.5 million.
He was also booked on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Sheriff Larry Smith previously said the aggravated assault charge stemmed from the suspect pointing a gun at one of the nurses in the dental office.
According to an arrest affidavit, the nurse was working on Steven Smith’s dentures in a patient room at the clinic. The nurse told police that Smith “has always been a difficult patient and was not happy with how they were doing the procedure,” the affidavit states. The nurse said Smith was making her and other nurses uncomfortable by telling them what to do.
The nurse then told Burroughs what was going on and he came to speak with Smith, advising that he was “no longer going to be a patient of theirs due to problems he has been causing,” the affidavit states. The nurse said Smith became angry and tried to take his dentures while pushing Burroughs to the ground.
The nurse called for help as Smith headed outside the office to his vehicle, according to the affidavit. She said Burroughs and Sinclair were both at the front door watching Smith walk to his vehicle. Smith then began “walking very fast” toward the business door at which time Burroughs attempted to lock it. Smith forced the door open, knocking Burroughs to the ground, the affidavit said.
The document states Sinclair then grabbed Smith from behind “like a bear hug” and the two began to fight. Smith pulled out his handgun and began to shoot “around five times” at Burroughs and Sinclair.
After Smith shot and wounded both dentists, the nurse said Smith pointed his gun at her, telling her to unlock the door leading to the patient rooms. The nurse told police that she refused to comply and Smith then left the business.
“It’s my understanding that she pleaded with him not to shoot her, that she had a baby,” Sheriff Larry Smith previously said.
Burroughs and Sinclair were later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Steven Smith was taken into custody later that day at a home in South Tyler. According to the sheriff, a witness gave law enforcement Smith’s vehicle description and plate number.
Minutes later, a deputy located Smith pulling into the driveway of his residence. Smith then went into his home as sheriff’s deputies and police officers established a perimeter around the home, according to the sheriff. Soon after, Smith’s parents came out of the home and shortly after Smith exited the home and was taken into custody.
The sheriff said “there were numerous people inside” the dental office when the shooting happened.
In Texas, if a person is found guilty of capital murder, they either face life in prison without parole or the death penalty.