Loris Primus said he heard a woman’s screams before he heard the four gunshots. Roughly two or three minutes later, he said, he heard two more shots.
Primus, 61, of St. Albans lives across the street from police officer Sherlon Smikle, who allegedly shot and killed his wife, Lana Morris, outside of their Camden Avenue home Wednesday evening. He then went inside and fatally shot himself in the head, police said.
“I look outside and I’m seeing this lady face down in the street,” said neighbor Beverly Ellis. “I looked out and I said, ‘That looks like Lana.’”
Ellis, 63, called 9-1-1 after she too heard gunshots and said police swarmed the quiet block shortly after.
Morris worked as a school safety officer and was still in her uniform when she was shot by her husband.
“Her face was down near the sewer. She was not moving,” Ellis said.
Smikle, 33, and Morris, 46, were known by neighbors as “lovely” and “quiet.”
“Things seemed beautiful,” said Sherman Sanders, who lives across the street. “They seemed like the perfect family.”
But despite outward appearances, Ellis said cops showed up at the couple’s door approximately two weeks ago, responding to a domestic violence call. Neighbors said Smikle was asked to leave the home.
“I knew there were some domestic issues, but I didn’t know how serious,” Ellis said.
The couple has one daughter, Lara, 8, who was not home at the time of the shooting.
Neighbors say it was well known that Smikle loved his little girl, and Sanders said he frequently saw her father walk her to school.
“He was crazy about that girl, she looked just like him,” said Ellis.
Before things went awry, Smikle and Morris were also frequently seen working together on their garden in the front yard.
“You never know what’s going on inside closed doors in people’s homes,” Sanders said.