HOLLIS — A cop who had a history of domestic abuse fatally shot his school safety wife in the middle of a Hollis street for refusing to sign divorce papers before killing himself Wednesday night, police and sources said.
In a twist, a locksmith showed up to the house Thursday to change two of the locks at the Camden Avenue home at the victim's request. It was not clear when the request was made.
Officer Sherlon Smikle — who was recently placed on modified duty after he allegedly assaulted his wife Lana Morris — presented the victim with divorce papers when she returned home about 7:30 p.m., sources and neighbors said.
But when Morris, 46, refused to sign the papers, Smikle snatched his shotgun, fired at her once inside their home, missing her and then chased her outside and shot her four times in the street while she was still in uniform, sources and witnesses said.
After the shooting, neighbor Vernon Grey, 48, saw Smikle reloading the gun.
"I saw him by the door loading the shotgun," said Grey. "She was on the ground and her right arm was mashed up."
Smikle then blasted the door and walked inside, Grey said. Afterward, he came out again, walked up to his wife and kicked her feet, the neighbor said.
"He was walking normal as ever, like nothing happened," Grey said. "He's sick. Something must be wrong with him."
Smikle returned home and shot himself in the head as the divorce papers lay on the kitchen table, sources said.
Smikle's distraught mother, who did not give her name, said she was "holding up as much as possible" outside of her son's home Thursday afternoon.
"I pray for strength every day. My faith still holds," she said. "My thoughts are muddled and jumbled."
Morris, whom neighbors said was still in her school safety officer uniform at the time of the shooting, was rushed to Queens General Hospital and was pronounced dead, police said.
Smikle, who died in the house, was arrested for allegedly assaulting Morris several weeks ago, sources and neighbors said.
He was reassigned to public housing, where he watched security footage and was stripped of two service weapons at the time, sources said. Police are not sure how he got the shotgun.
The status of the case was not clear.
Despite the incidents, few were aware of any marital troubles.
"They were the quietest people on the block and the quietest people I've ever known," Grey said.
"I didn't even know he was married," said lawyer Eric Sanders, who briefly represented Smikle in 2008 when he planned to sue the NYPD for racial discrimination after a superior used a racial slur in an argument with him.
Sanders said he never followed through with the suit.
The couple had an 8-year-old daughter, according to sources and a neighbor who asked not to be identified.
Smikle's cousin, who only gave her first name, Madge, said the story was "not one-sided."
"She was a good wife," she said. "He had a heart of gold. They both did."