Police identify 16-year-old victim shot at park in Antioch, seek suspect

Thomas “Paulie” Smith, Jr. Sources: (left) KTVU Fox 2 video screenshot, (right) Raquel Diaz on Facebook. Band photo from 2019.

Was with his cousin who was later arrested on unrelated charges

By Antioch Police Public Information Officer Ashley Crandell, Support Services Division

The Antioch Police Department has received additional inquiries about this incident and would like to provide the following update:

The victim of this tragic event was Thomas Smith, and he was 16 years old. He was identified by a family member who arrived on scene. He was from Mount Airy, Louisiana a community near New Orleans, and was in Antioch visiting family.

The 15-year-old juvenile that was detained in Walmart was an acquaintance of Mr. Smith’s and was arrested for charges unrelated to the homicide.

The homicide suspect remains outstanding, and this incident is still being investigated by our Investigations Bureau.

According to a report KTVU Fox 2 news report, Thomas, aka “Paulie” was Nakia Banks’ youngest child and only son. The family was visiting Banks’ sister in Antioch. The 15-year-old boy who was with Smith at the time of the shooting was his cousin.

As previously reported, on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, at approximately 11:22 AM, the Antioch Police Department Dispatch Center started receiving numerous 9-1-1 calls reporting multiple gunshots being fired at Williamson Ranch Park, located at 5000 Lone Tree Way. (See related article)

As officers were responding to the scene, witnesses called to report a subject running from the park and entering the near-by Walmart. Additional officers immediately responded to the Walmart, and with the assistance of several citizens, were able to quickly locate and safely detain the subject. The subject was determined to be a juvenile and in possession of a loaded firearm.

When officers arrived at the park, they located one male juvenile victim near the parking lot suffering from several gunshot wounds. Evidence at the scene indicated the incident occurred outdoors in the east portion of the parking lot. Officers immediately began administering first aid and called for emergency fire department and AMR paramedics. The victim was transported to a local area hospital emergency room, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Prior to police arrival, a dark colored sedan was seen leaving the parking lot of the park at a high rate of speed. During the preliminary investigation, it appears the victim, and the subject detained at the Walmart, arrived together on-foot, and met with the occupants of a dark colored sedan in the parking lot. Shortly afterwards, multiple shots were fired from, and/or around, the dark colored sedan.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department nonemergency line at (925)778-2441, or Detective Cox at 925-779-6866. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

Lt. John Fortner and Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Thomas Smith, Jr.

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