Standoff, Fire Suspect Alan Smith: 2 PFAs and a Rap Sheet

SCRANTON, Pa. — The man police say is responsible for a fire, a standoff, and the deaths in that fire is also a suspect in a 13-year-old murder, and paperwork shows the two women who are believed to be dead in the fire, were afraid of him.

Alan Smith’s mother and aunt were so afraid of him that late Friday night, they each asked for–and received–a protection from abuse order.

Scranton police were serving the two PFA’s early Saturday morning when they say Alan Smith shot at officers and set fire to his home on Washburn Street.

The night before, Smith’s mother Rosemary applied for an emergency protection from abuse order claiming, “I fear for my safety,” and, “He said he was going to kill me and my family and neighbors.”

Smith’s aunt, Sister Angela Miller lived on the other side of the duplex. She also took out a PFA, writing Smith had a “mental outburst, threatening to harm,” and “deep anger issues with psychotic episodes” and was a “sociopath.”

More than 10 years ago, detectives considered Alan Smith a suspect in the homicide of Joseph Morrison of Scranton. In 2005, Morrison was found dead on the sidewalk near his home on North Sumner Avenue.

Although Smith remained a suspect in the Morrison case, he was never charged.

Almost a year after the Morrison killing, Smith was arrested on child pornography charges. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to some time in prison.

At the time of his arrest on the child porn charges, former Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola asked for a high bail for Smith because he was a suspect in the Morrison homicide, but a source close to that case says Smith was never arrested because police and prosecutors never developed enough evidence to bring him to trial.

7 comments

  • jsrant

    Sorry for the families lose.
    Now, if this p.o.s. did jail time why did he have a weapon? How was he able to obtain one? These people who have mental issues need to be watched every minute day. Sorry to say but we need more laws to protect the innocence.

    • J (@ds18301)

      How did a guy with mental issues get a gun? Thank trump and the GOP for that. One of their first acts was to remove the Obama restriction on gun ownership for the mentally ill — having received their orders from the NRA. Fact. Ridiculous.

      • Geo Coggins

        howd he get a gun? the same way people get heroin id imagine so why is that so hard to understand? people always find ways around the law if they want something bad enough plain and simple

  • Rusty Knyffe

    This is a most tragic event that could have been prevented if several things had been done. First, and foremost, would have been to never let Smith into the home.

    Sadly, his family paid the worst and most horrid price for their compassion and empathy. So very sad and horribly tragic.

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