MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two people are in custody for the murder of a Memphis pastor.
Don Smith was found dead in 3400 block of Lichterman Street in Hickory Hill Saturday morning. The 57-year-old had been shot, and his car stolen.
Police say two men walking their dogs found his body near a pond.
Wednesday, 24-year-old Lashonda Williams and 23-year-old Roger Reed, Jr., were stopped in Smith’s car in Greenville, Mississippi.
Warrants have been issued for their arrests for first-degree murder in perpetration of a felony to wit: aggravated robbery.
MPD reports it’s unknown when Williams and Reed will be returned to Memphis. Both are in custody for additional charges through Greenville police.
Smith was a pastor at Prospect Park Baptist Church in Whitehaven.
“He was the type of person that would give you anything you asked for, give him your last,” his niece, Alandria Williams-Ware, said.
“The shirt off his back. Anything,” sister Alice Howard added.
If Pastor Smith wasn’t on the pulpit, family members said he could be found spending time in the kitchen.
“Sundays, we compared dinners on Sundays. He’d call me, I’d call him. We’d trade our food,” Howard recalled.
Just like his cooking, family and friends said being in the same presence as Smith could warm your soul.
His family says they’re not holding a grudge against whoever killed their loved one.
“As a family we’re already forgiving this person, but we want justice served,” Smith’s godson Raymond Jones said.
Pastor Smith’s family found out about the arrests as his visitation was getting underway in Frayser.
As they welcomed friends and relatives to say goodbye, police announced they found his car in Mississippi, with his suspected killers inside.
“The tragedy still stands, still a loss. Grateful they did catch him still a loss taken that means so much to so many people,” George Johnson, Smith’s nephew, said.
“There’a still a gap, a void that even that news couldn’t fill today,” April Crawford, Smith’s niece, added.
They appreciate the hard work of law enforcement, but unfortunately, it doesn’t bring back the man they loved.
While justice is certainly on their minds, they say they can’t help but think about their uncle, and immediately know what he would want for his killers.
“He would forgive them, pray for them,” they said in unison.
Pastor Smith’s funeral will be held at the Golden Gate Cathedral on Saturday, November 8, at 11 a.m.