Houston-area heavyweight boxer Maurenzo “T. Diddy” Smith was killed late last week while supporting the woman arguing with her husband, from whom she was seeking a divorce. The fighter reportedly was not in a relationship with the woman, but his presence might have triggered the 61-year-old man who ultimately took his life.
The incident occurred at the Crab Station Oyster Bar in northwest Harris County, Texas. Smith was with a 28-year-old female friend around noon where she was meeting her husband at the restaurant, attempting to finalize her divorce.
The estranged couple reportedly had a conversation for 20 minutes — with the husband having a copy of the divorce papers — which seemingly did not go well, and the husband left the establishment. However, it wasn’t over as authorities said the next thing that happened changed the course of everyone’s lives. Deputies say the husband returned to the restaurant a little while later and reportedly returned with two guns.
According to reports, the husband began to fire 13 rounds at his wife and Smith, and Smith was struck multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene. The husband missed his wife.
“When he returned, he shot the male she was with multiple times, and he attempted to shoot her, but he missed,” said Harris County Sheriff’s Office Major Susan Cotter to local news station FOX 26.
The assailant then left the restaurant along with several other diners who were unharmed, along with several other patrons, according to the police. He jumped into his Maserati, but eventually police pulled him over after responding to the restaurant shooting reports.
Then the husband exited the car and reportedly shot himself in the head. He was ultimately taken to Houston Northwest Hospital in critical condition and was not expected to survive.
According to the sheriff’s office, the couple was married for nine years, and had no children. The death of Smith came as a shock to his family.
“He’s been into boxing ever since his teenage years,” said Smith’s sister Ida Carter. “He did talk to him yesterday. I don’t know the conversation. But when my brother got off the phone, he said that everything was OK, the gentleman was a cool guy.
“My brother was like an innocent bystander. He was just trying to help. She was not his girlfriend; that’s very misleading information. He was just trying to help someone.”
Smith was a heavyweight boxer with a 29-13-4 record. He was on an eight-fight win streak, all being by knockout. He’s fought seven of his last eight in Colombia and has been active as a pro since 2004.
His family said the boxer had met the alleged gunman’s wife last Friday. The athlete reportedly was there for support and had no idea the circumstances would escalate to the level of a shootout.
“My brother was a celebrity boxer here from Houston, Texas, born and raised here in Houston,” said Cherice Westpiere, Maurenzo Smith’s other sister to local FOX 26. “He was just trying to help.”
Smith, a widower, leaves behind two children and is now the victim of a scenario he didn’t create.