Officer Smith was killed by three escaped convicts from Connecticut. Officer Smith and another officer did not know who they were when they walked up to them in their stolen parked car in the area of Duval and Liberty Streets to question them about several local robberies. They opened fire killing Officer Smith and seriously wounding the other officer. One of the suspects was apprehended the next day in Jacksonville. The other two were apprehended a few days later in Pensacola.
One of the escapees was serving a life sentence in Connecticut for murdering Trooper Irving H. Nelson of the Connecticut State Police on April 6, 1928.