Fort Worth, TX – A Texas Christian University junior was fatally shot outside a local bar in Fort Worth’s West 7th District, according to police reports. The victim, Wes Smith, was standing near a bar establishment named Your Mom’s House at the time of the incident. In the early hours of Friday morning, he was approached by Matthew Purdy.
Purdy, also 21, engaged Smith in a brief conversation before allegedly shooting the former football player and fleeing the scene. Smith was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead around 1:45 a.m.
The police affidavit revealed that Smith was not the only individual Purdy allegedly attacked that night. Two other individuals reported to the police that the gunman had assaulted them, striking one in the back of the head.
Purdy was later apprehended in a nearby parking lot. During his arrest, one officer noticed Purdy holding a pistol handle in the back of the patrol car. It is believed that Purdy had concealed the weapon in his crotch area and had disassembled it, discarding pieces of the gun out of the vehicle when the officer opened the door to check on him.
Upon further inspection, authorities discovered what appeared to be fresh blood on a backpack Purdy had been carrying. Purdy, who did not personally know Smith, confessed to shooting the victim three times in the stomach, shoulder, and back of the head, stating he wanted to “make sure he was dead.”
Purdy also admitted to police that he had no clear motive for the killing, only asking Smith if he knew his father, who had been assaulted in the area. He also claimed that he would have shot a bystander if he hadn’t run out of ammunition.
Smith, a native of Germantown, Tennessee, was a finance major and a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at TCU. He had previously played as a free safety for the university’s Horned Frogs football team during his freshman year.
In high school, Smith was a standout athlete, serving as captain of his football and basketball teams at St. George’s Independent School in Memphis. He was also named the Tennessee DII-AA West Defensive Player of the Year for football. His family described him as an “amazing and loving son, brother, cousin, and friend.”
Purdy, who was on probation for an aggravated robbery case in Tarrant County, has now been charged with murder. He is currently being held at Tarrant County Jail with a bond set at $500,000.
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