MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The suspect charged in the death of Wes Smith, a Texas Christian University student from Germantown, was on probation at the time of the killing, reports say.
Court documents obtained by Star-Telegram say Matthew Purdy pled guilty last year to aggravated robbery. He’d been placed on deferred adjudication with community service for eight years.
This weekend, prosecutors moved to have him convicted and sent to prison on the robbery charges. Officials say Purdy confessed to shooting Smith, who studied finance and marketing at TCU.
As for a motive, there doesn’t appear to be one. Purdy, now charged with murder, told police he didn’t know why he killed Smith.
The shooting happened early Friday morning outside a Fort Worth entertainment district bar. Smith was on a sidewalk when he was shot in the shoulder, stomach and back of the head.
Purdy told police he would have shot him more times had his gun not run out of bullets.
Fort Worth, Texas’s mayor, called it a senseless act of violence.
In Germantown, Smith is being remembered as a natural leader. He attended St. George’s Independent School and was an active member of the ‘Young Life’ ministry since he was just six years old.
Joel Brantley runs St. George’s Young Life and knew Wes and family very well.
“We have been on and off the phone countless times answering questions and just reaching out to people and letting them know that they’re loved, letting them know what’s going on with Wes and his family,” Brantley said. “In the midst of of this dark, dark hard time, our faith is all we have to stand on and our trust in Christ.”
Smith was studying finance and marketing at TCU. His friends in Germantown said knowing him was a gift and that was his legacy.
“Wes was like student body president. He was like captain of sports teams. He gave himself away and loved on middle school kids. There were just so many things about him. I think you honor him by honoring the life that he lived and just celebrating him,” Brantley said.
As of Monday morning, Purdy remains in the Tarrant County Texas Jail. His bail is set at $500,000.