Friend of Denison murder victim speaks out

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Friends and family are mourning the death of a Denison woman. Investigators say she was murdered Thursday night at her home by her estranged boyfriend. Friday afternoon, after an overnight manhunt, he was found dead in Oklahoma.

Less than 24 hours after the shooting death of Yvonne Gauthier her best friend told News 12 that she is shocked that a woman everyone loved was allegedly killed by one of the people closest to her.

"She loved to laugh, and that smile is so contagious," Taylor said.

Brenda Taylor says she cannot believe her best friend is gone. Just this past weekend Taylor says she was with Gauthier for a girls getaway and would have never have imagined that trip would be their last.

"We stopped by Brookshire's to get snacks for the hotel room and it was an adventure just being in there, you know just cutting up," Taylor said.

Thursday night the 47-year-old mother and grandmother was found dead at her home in the 100 block of Cedar Drive just outside of Denison. Her ex-boyfriend Aaron Smith is suspected of fatally shooting her.

"Pop pop pop pop pop pop," Alsbrook exclaimed.

Neighbor Bart Alsbrook says he heard the shots.

"This was a lot of shots very quickly and it never repeated itself," Alsbrook said.

Lt. Rickey Wheeler, with the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, says the shots fired call came in around 9:30 and when deputies arrived they found Gauthier unconscious on the front porch.

"She had been shot multiple times. From there we were able to identify the suspect, which is Aaron Smith," Lt. Wheeler said.

Less than 24 hours later, Bryan County Sheriff Ken Golden says Smith's body was found in his truck on Lee Street and Main in Cartwright.

"Officers responded to the scene, realized this was suspect vehicle, apparently from the shooting in Denison, so they made entry into the vehicle and found out he was deceased," Sheriff Golden said.

"Disbelief and not wanting it to be true," Taylor said.

Taylor says Smith and Gauthier had been in a relationship for about six years, but had split up several months ago. Taylor says she knew the two had their issues, but never expected it to come to this.

"I don't think I've ever felt this sad and this mad and this upset all in one, you know don't know how to explain it," Taylor said.

Smith's cause of death is not being released at this time and neither is a motive for Thursday night's shooting. The Grayson County Sheriff's Office, Bryan County Sheriff's Office, the O-S-B-I and the Texas Rangers are investigating.