Police say suspect in highway killings was ex-Utah trooper addicted to painkillers

DALLAS (AP) - A former Utah state trooper suspected in shootings on Dallas-area roads has struggled with an addiction to painkillers and was wanted for a North Texas crime spree.

Dallas police said 37-year-old ex-trooper Brian Smith was responsible for at least one death that resulted from the shootings.

He's in critical condition on life support this morning at a Dallas hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Dallas Morning News reports Utah authorities said Smith started abusing alcohol and prescription medications after an on-duty traffic accident.

A Utah Department of Public Safety investigation found that Smith drove under the influence and committed theft.

He resigned his job and moved to Keller in May.

Southlake authorities obtained a warrant for Smith's arrest in connection with a Dec. 17 robbery of a woman in a shopping center
parking lot.

In addition, authorities say Monday morning, a man matching Smith's description broke the window on a vehicle at a La Petite Academy in Southlake.

Witnesses said the man grabbed a purse and fled.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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