Kendra Lyn, NBC 5 News
Dallas police said this isn't the first time Karen Smith has been a victim of violence. Police records show that only a month ago the woman was strangled to the point of unconsciousness in her driveway.
A man has been arrested in connection with a woman's fatal shooting inside a University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center campus parking garage Tuesday night.
Officers found the victim, identified as 40-year-old UTSW executive assistant Karen Smith, shot to death just before 8 p.m.
Dallas police said 41-year-old Ferdinand Glen Smith was arrested in connection with the shooting, though they haven't confirmed his relationship to the victim.
UTSW spokesperson Russell Rian said no additional arrests are anticipated, because this is believed to be an isolated, domestic incident. Neighbors told NBC 5 that Smith had been having problems with her estranged husband.
Dallas police said this isn't the first time the woman has been a victim of violence. Police records show that only a month ago the woman was strangled to the point of unconsciousness in her driveway. Police are not saying if that instance is connected to her murder, for which they have revealed no motive.
“Our hearts and condolences are with the family at this time,” said Rian, who added that the medical school hasn’t seen a killing like this in three decades.
Shots Heard, Woman's Body Found in Parking Garage
Dallas police said Karen Smith violently lost her life in parking garage 2 on South Campus Tuesday night after a public service officer heard at least five shots coming from the parking garage at about 7:35 p.m.
Officers scoured the ramp, floor-by-floor, and discovered Smith lying face up on the fourth level. Police report she’d been shot several times in her upper body and head.
Campus and Dallas police searched for the shooter and put the campus on lock down for three and a half hours. Meanwhile, students received text message alerts warning them of the murder.
“We all just got text messages at the same time saying don’t go outside, there’s been a possible homicide,” said student Dorothy Kupka.
Employees said the garage is primarily used by staff and researchers.
The incident remains under investigation by UTSW and Dallas police and the campus, hospitals and clinics are open for normal business operations Wednesday.
Investigators ask that anyone with information about the shooting to call UTSW University Police Criminal Investigations at 214-648-8311. Students affected by the tragedy can call the Office of Student Mental Health at 214-645-8680.
Staff Grieve Loss of UTSW Employee
UTSW employee Ann Fillmore thought of her slain co-worker as she pulled into the same garage where Smith was shot and killed Tuesday night.
“It’s scary. You just never know what can happen and where it can happen,” said Fillmore.
“It’s scary to think anyone can get into the garage. You want to feel secure. It was scary someone could come here and be in the garage waiting,” said employee Melinda Epstein. “We’ll say a prayer for her family."
“I was just shocked it could happen here. I come here every day and just couldn’t believe it,” said Ryan Davis, UTSW researcher.