The shooting death of Brookfield resident Michael Smith stung for all kinds of reasons. He was by all accounts a devoted family man and gentle soul who was just doing his job when he intervened in a disturbance at a night club where he was working as a security guard. He was doing his civic and professional duty by testifying against the defendant, a man with a violent criminal past.
That Smith was killed to prevent him from testifying in court is insidious. That he was killed in front of his house, in broad daylight, with witnesses in the vicinity, was incredibly brazen and a shock to Brookfield residents.
But Brookfield police, with the help of other agencies from Cook and DuPage counties, as well as Chicago and the FBI, were able to carefully build their case against suspects they identified early on after finding a court subpoena on Smith’s person and locating the vehicle involved in the shooting just a day later.
Ten months is a long time, but police needed to make sure that the evidence they were able to collect was enough to convince both the state’s attorney to seek prosecution and a judge to issue warrants for arrest.
Within a day of getting those warrants, the suspects were in custody and will now stand trial for Smith’s death.
Of course, the suspects are presumed innocent, but we’re confident that police and prosecutors have built a solid case based on months of investigation. And Brookfield residents can be proud of a police department that’s able to solve such a violent, abhorrent crime.