Shawn Smith

A Brooklyn man who allegedly threw his 4-year-old brother off a roof had a history of mental illness according to his family.

Shawn Smith, 20, faces murder charges after he tossed little Shimron Smith from the roof of a 7-story building where the family lived in Brooklyn.

Shimron's 5-year-old brother Steven, who was in the apartment, was not injured.

Authorities says Smith calmly flagged down a patrol car and confessed about 45 minutes later.

Smith led officers to his brother's broken body in the courtyard of the apartment building on Norstrand Avenue near Avenue K around 3:30 AM on Saturday.

Family members tell the NY Daily News they saw red flags in the months before the tragedy.

"You could see in his eyes, he was deteriorating," said Robin Frith, who is married to Smith's grandmother.

Family members say Smith broke down a heavy door in his mother's Flatland's apartment. The frightened woman called 911 and begged for help.

Kings County Hospital's psychiatric crisis team visited the home but Smith refused to speak to them.

Smith was admitted to Kings County Hospital for an emergency psychiatric evaluation. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and released home after being stabilized on psychotropic medications.

"He spent three weeks there and when he come back, he was okay." His mother, Odessa Frith, told The News on Sunday.

Smith was all smiles during his perp walk outside the 70th Precinct on Saturday.

"I've finally become a criminal!", Smith told reporters gathered outside the station house.

It isn't clear if Smith was still taking his medications prior to the tragedy.

Noncompliance with medications is a major problem with psychiatric patients who stop taking their medications because they don't believe they are sick.

  • LYRICS

    Dear God! At least a dog, not that a doggy would deserve such cruelty, but his own little brother!!!

  • SpiceGirl

    Just sad ALL the way around! Rest easy baby boy

  • disqus_DxKO3ThTGI

    Folks need to stop the denial about mental illness. I see so many folks turn their heads and act like they don't hear/see the signs......Especially in our community. Not only are we fighting racism as a group we don't have time to address the mental illnesses that's tearing our families apart.

  • Trace da Ace

    omg!!! RIP to that precious little boy...so sad he lost his life that way.....if they knew he was so unstable, then why leave him alone with the boys?? Meds or no meds.....there is always a chance that they can snap.

  • KcoolMuziq
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1lo6u-UIbo Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    demons are real.
    RIP to that baby. at least he can't be hurt anymore, smh...

  • ????Marina????

    Another evil piece of garbage that will get sympathy. Wow.

  • Coy little wink

    I come here for light hearted celebrity gossip and fashion....not this dark news

  • Rayne

    Damn!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1lo6u-UIbo Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    it's horrific and heartbreaking.

  • Miss Thang

    Mental health needs to be a priority in the wealthiest country on Earth. Healthcare is a right, not just for the privileged few.

  • Quitedeliteful

    Smith was all smiles during his perp walk
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    He sure was... This guy is so bat-shyt crazy even the prison thugs are gonna stay out of his way...

  • Phillybruh

    He wouldn't have come back to my home after that diagnosis, I would have spent that 3 weeks finding him someplace too stay.

  • SummerBaby

    Super sad story RIP??

  • Quitedeliteful

    Knowing that he was gonna come knocking on their door three weeks later they should have moved...

  • Phillybruh

    I wouldn't have moved, he just wasn't coming in. Not after kicking my door down.

  • SummerBaby

    Moved?! Most people can’t afford to up & move.

  • Quitedeliteful

    So true....I woulda been afraid he might kick the door down again, though...

  • Nita

    R.I.P. to the little angel. So sad that his life ended so soon and such a tragic way. ??

  • Quitedeliteful

    True...

  • Phillybruh

    I would have spoke to him from the window or stoop. But he's not coming in the building.

  • Quitedeliteful

    LOLLOLLOL!!!!!!!!!!! Philly you talking to him thru the curtain and that's it?!?

  • RaginB

    Crazy yo...

    It's not even his fault he has schizophrenia.

  • Phillybruh

    Depends on his crazy..maybe through the mailbox.

  • Kimocha

    Sad & Speechless!

  • Quitedeliteful

    LMBAOFFFFFFF!!! Philly ain't playing with these crazies out here!

  • dru and neil

    Hate to state the obvious but why did he have access to the little children? He would have had to get the hell out after that schizophrenia diagnosis. That is not to be f*cked with.

  • dru and neil

    They also needed to arm themselves if possible.

  • Quitedeliteful

    NOW they'll give him the help he needs -- after they give him life in prison.

  • Miss Thang

    especially with children in the home!

  • Phillybruh

    It sad I see these young guys out here definantly dealing with mental issues and no help at all. And you can't keep them in the back room like you used too, they are violently crazy these days.

  • Alextra Ballard

    I worked in Mental health for ova 10 yrs and I'm willing to bet the oldest son was hearing voices. If he was off his meds he himslf was going through straight torture and turmoil. This is such a tragedy. May lil man
    forever RIP....Lordt this is just sad.

  • Alextra Ballard

    No Ma'am not at all

  • RaginB

    Forreal my mom's first husband had it & she says he use to yell&throw stuff at walls thinkin people were coming after him.

  • Quitedeliteful

    So true.Young, dumb and crazy is a dangerous combination...

  • Phillybruh

    Young and Crazy, I know a young guy who was in college and everything going right, then one day that crazy kicked in. You really have too look at the families background before making babies. Alcoholism is deep on my fathers side of the family and I had to really consider that before having kids.

  • Karen Brady

    “He spent three weeks there and when he come back, he was okay.” His mother, Odessa Frith, told The News on Sunday. Ummmm I beg to differ. Poor baby, I pray he felt no pain when he hit that concrete.

  • Karen Brady

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Karen Brady

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ESPECIALLY!

  • Dasright

    A school acquaintance lost her daughter to schizophrenia. The grandmom killed two of her grands, stabbed another one and then burned the house..killing herself as well. It was very sad.

  • Karen Brady

    This bruh. This. Hit my cell all you want to but no door will be opening for you.

  • Victorious82

    Can we go back to keeping dangerous seriously mentally ill folks in asylums? I know we’ve moved away from that but they aren’t caring for these folks properly and they are wrecking havoc on communities. You can’t even go to the grocery store in the hood without being screamed and cursed at by some dude/chick off his meds.

  • Alextra Ballard

    The really need to rethink reopening Mental Institutions

  • Quitedeliteful

    Alcohol was the drug of choice back in the day and lots of families inherit that 'gene' (for lack of a better word). It's rampant on my daddy's side also and every generation has a few relatives who are hooked on alcohol. I am very conscious about not getting hooked on anything...

  • Alextra Ballard

    It's funny that "Crazy" people never think their "Crazy" and sane people think their going crazy

  • Renee26

    Oh my... RIP Angel

  • Phillybruh

    The only good thing is on my mother side they can't handle more than 3 drinks and I got that gene...lol

  • Renee26

    Right... I know it's hard to turn your back on a loved one but damn

  • Renee26

    Nah he'll still be in prison...just on meds

  • Quitedeliteful

    You are lucky!! Two drinks is my limit these days. That's about all I can handle. I'd rather have a green brownie...

  • guest

    smdh..sad.

  • Phillybruh

    I had some gummies from LA over the weekend the kids were away..never again!

  • Quitedeliteful

    You probably should have only eaten one... I never eat a whole brownie. I take a bite and see how I do with that before taking anymore...

  • Phillybruh

    One was all I needed...lol

  • imright

    hey????? its needed

  • KLove

    Good Luck with that...back in the 70s and early 80s the liberals (ACLU) sued to make the states close the state run mental hospitals and basically release everyone back into the population.

  • Karen Brady

    You gonna log out if you keep it up.

  • SweetTEE

    I have a couple family members with schizophrenia. One even answer's to "Schizo" when he's off his meds- like this is how we know, bc he answers to the damn name.

    I hate to say it, but I prefer that they stay the hell away from me. There's NO way to be comfortable around them when you know they are capable of harming others.

    The mother will blame herself for the rest of her life and that is horrible. Rip young man.

  • dru and neil

    A woman recently went berserk stabbing babies in a day care and said she thought the babies were wolves. She’s was much older, a grandmother as well.

  • Karen Brady

    At 3am I would think, HOPE, PRAY this toddler was fast asleep in his bed and this man scooped him up to toss him. Probably shared a bedroom. Awful.

  • Shamwow

    They are open but the system is broken. Being discreet and previously working in a psyc hospital. It’s hard to get someone sent to a long term psychiatric hospital. If they have Medicare they can stay with 28 days. With regular insurance maybe a week or two. But they always return it’s sad and to attempt to secure aftercare therapist are on the phone for hours. Doctors get orders to discharge patients from the CEO it’s a mess.

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    Rest baby.
    No more harm to come to you.
    God, this ain't cutting it!

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    OMG!!!!

    THIS IS THE TRUTH:
    Noncompliance with medications is a major problem with psychiatric
    patients who stop taking their medications because they don’t believe
    they are sick.

  • Diane

    This guy's family were probably in denial about his mental illness. He came from Guyana a year ago to live in NYC with his mother and four siblings, now three, because his father couldn't control him. I think he would have been better off in Guyana, on medication and stress free. His mother has financial problems and is being evicted from her home and now to deal with this, so sad .

  • Diane

    I personally feel he should have stayed in Guyana. Less stress, clean air, etc. With his medication and that lifestyle he would have probably been stable.

  • Karen Brady

    Hey Diane.. where did you read the details about his dad please?

  • Mama Dee’s Wig Maker

    My cousin hates taking her medicine

  • Karen Brady

    “He doesn’t speak to nobody, he just walks up behind you,” said a building maintenance worker, who declined to give his name. “Walks up and down, smoking. He doesn’t talk much.” I don't care who you are, you got one time to walk up behind me. I've cussed out a few fools for that mess thinking they're playing. I don't play that. Hell I move if someone sits behind me in the theatre. No lie.

  • Strappyheels

    That too!! Some of the side effects can just as debilitating as the mental illness itself.

  • gail jones

    Well, time to build up inventory.

  • EMILY POST

    people will hide their crazy kids.. like nobody don’t know bad parents put everybody in danger.

  • EMILY POST

    Bring back mental institutions

  • ClaireHuxtable

    RIP Little One.
    I don't think mentally ill people are held long enough. They usually put them on a 72 hour hold which I don't think is long enough to determine if they are a danger to themselves or society.

    Most mentally ill people never hurt anybody. They are more likely to be the victim of a crime. Yet we spend more money going to Mars when it's terribly needed right here!

  • ClaireHuxtable

    A lot of those people have k1lled brain cells do to their drug use.
    "Hey Lady, you got a quarter?" smh

  • ClaireHuxtable

    It is sad! We need more money going toward mental health instead of Mars, missiles, Trump's weekend golf trips...

  • ClaireHuxtable

    Attorneys with the ACLU probably don't live in the same communities where the mentally ill are released.

  • ClaireHuxtable

    You never dream that someone you love could do something so horrific.

  • ClaireHuxtable

    How awful!

  • Ni Ni

    “He doesn’t speak to nobody, he just walks up behind you,”
    __________
    Scary! I just watched a clip of him smiling and talking to himself on his walk to the police car , smh

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    Take the boy's mother to jail, too. She's just as responsible for that child's death, as the actual killer. Her primary duty was to protect those babies and she failed them, miserably.

  • J2PC

    Be careful. Some crazies have switchblades & you don't know what might set them off. There are better ways to de-escalate a situation & still be in control just to save your own life.

  • J2PC

    He had medications. Previous articles stated that he recently was in mental hospital for 3 weeks. He stopped taking his meds like a number of them.

    Like some nurses say, you have to actually watch them swallow it & not trick you with a pretentious swallow only to hid the pill in the mouth to spit out or cough up before it's dissolved.

  • J2PC

    Many of them end up with debilitating dry mouth, metallic tongue, no libido, feeling numb like a zombie & not being able to think, etc.

    But, worse of all the meds causes them to quickly gain weight because it ruins their metabolism and causes other medical problems like diabetes.

  • Jennifer

    I agree 1000%. There are levels of insanity and those who are at a point of being a detriment to themselves and others should be locked away. Medication only goes so far. Some need medication, supervision, and a controlled environment. This is an incredibly sad story all the way around.

  • J2PC

    Prisons are the new asylums for the mentally-ill because it's cheaper with guaranteed $$$ from the local, state & federal gov't.

    -asylums or mental institutions were abusive & corrupted.

    They were abused to rape or drug up victims & witness to mar their image & cast reasonable doubt on believability and to silence them. -you don't want to know that your loved one was just being abused, beaten & raped and silenced like a zombie with drugs whenever you visited them. That's why they dismantled the corrupted place in addition to medical cost.

    All it took was some political connection to the right people to make a lie become the truth & ruin the lives of others by keeping them doped up.

  • J2PC

    Many institutions were very corrupted & used to abuse or victimize patients. Others with connections used it to silence witnesses by keeping them drugged up to cast doubt on their testimony.

  • J2PC

    That is why for-profit prisons will gladly take them because $$$ is guaranteed via state, local & federal tax dollar$ unlike medical insurances.

    -simply build some mental health infirmaries next to prisons to avoid housing people who don't belong in prison with criminals in prisons.

  • J2PC

    He was her 20yr old son who was sick. What was she to do? She had him in a mental hospital for 3 weeks. He stopped taking his meds and look what happened. -was she supposed to put her 20yr old disabled son out in the streets?

  • dru and neil

    YES.

  • dontgetblocked

    He should not have been allowed to return to the home with those children. Freakin nut case.

  • dontgetblocked

    It's best nowadays.

  • dontgetblocked

    Yeah. I have to think about me. If they're going to the family Thanksgiving dinner...I won't be there.

  • dontgetblocked

    If they get to close....before I can get the hell out of there...I start acting crazy. Pretty much scares them away.

  • dontgetblocked

    Send him back to Guyana to his daddy. Why risk the baby's life? Believe me...this wasn't the first time he'd hurt that child.

  • Malcom Flex

    YUP

  • Malcom Flex

    My preferred question: where the hell is his father?!

  • dontgetblocked

    If you're depressed or suicidal, I'll try to help. But if you're bipolar which can also spill over to being psychotic...I got to leave you alone. I do not have any bipolar friends snd bipolar relatives can have minimum contact with me. If you have schizophrenia, there are strict rules and this is for relatives only...non-relatives-there will no contact. You can send me a crazy text every once in a while...which I will ignore. But don't call me or come anywhere near my residence. The police will be notified and charges will be pressed accompanied by a restraining order.

  • Rhondalousey

    Yes! If he's a danger to the younger ones. Now look what happened, a 4 year old lost his life and this idiot talking about "he's finally a criminal "! Really?

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    Yeah, this is unrelated, but it just brings to mind the whole pushing someone in a pool or off a cliff or off the curb when a car's coming, etc. So many things come to mind that people find funny. Like you, nope, get from behind. Do not hover over me, stand, or walk behind me.

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    Yep. Black folks are known to just put the person in a room in the back of the house and that's that. I know it's probably too cruel to think they shouldn't be around 'regular' people. My common sense kicks in to remind me that's irrational and ridiculous. Sad story.

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    NOOOOOOO. I've been hearing about the story a couple days now but the soundbyte/headline alone keeps me SMH. He carried a sleeping kid from his bed and through him off the roof? Nah, mentally ill should go out the window on this. He knowingly, consciously decided to stop taking his meds AND scooped up a kid and threw him off a roof top?

    Kids that young are so innocent and believe most of what we tell them because they're so trusting. Wow.

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    You said it and I just wrote above how I'm being irrational thinking this is the solution. It's just not fair that this is how a life ends and all society will say is 'the brother's mental.' Um, no. Consequences.

  • Jussjess25

    My God what a monster

  • Jussjess25

    I agree but that was his little brother .. although he should have never been left alone with him

  • Faux Gibbler

    Oh my.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    LLS! A NUCCA CAINT GET THAT CLOSE TO ME WITHOUT GETTN ELBOWED TO THE THROAT!

  • TransMichelle

    I thought black folks didn't do these types of things.

  • davine puddin

    Honestly alot of work unsurance do not cover behavioral health. And alot of these affordable places only take medicare. Meds are expensive for non health coverage.

  • davine puddin

    When i am not on my meds the voices is to much. When i first started taking meds the voices stopped and i felt sad. Check but i also feel sad when i hear the voices because they do not talk to me. They ignore me. Pretty sad

  • Phillybruh

    When he got out of the mental hospital first stop would have been the airport.

  • http://www.blackartshoppe.com Nyla x BlackArtShoppe.com

    Wow so sad

  • Diane

    Yes, people of color have a hard time accepting mental illness as a diagnosis, we need to be more open minded about it. The person having the "devil" in them temporary, is not a diagnosis, or that they need prayer. SMH

  • Diane

    I don't think she should have put him out, but I do think she should have left him in Guyana with proper medication, less stress and more support. Apparently, his father couldn't handle him there, but how could his mother handle him here with four more kids and financial problems? America is not the answer for everyone.

  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs

    Most idiotic thing to do is send a MENTALLY ILL person home with meds and EXPECT them to take them???

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    More debilitating than being well "enough" for daily functioning?

  • chris

    Ignorant and heartless af. It not his fault he is sick.

  • dru and neil

    Not ignorant to this illness at all, that’s why I KNOW he’s got to go.

  • dru and neil

    I don’t even give a sh*t if you’re stabilized, you STILL got to go.

  • chris

    If she had somewhere for him to go im sure she would have or was planning to send him there. You act like you can just evict people out your house in a day, you cannot that is illegal. Also, its not cheap to just fly to another country or get him a one bedroom apartment in nyc. The kid clearly delayed so he gonna need some care. You ignorant and dont know what steps this family was taking to solve their problem so get off your high horse and stfu.

  • Mz_Opinionated

    Schizophrenia I believe is the most dangerous of the mental disorders. That is the one where you hear voices and can talk in the those specific voices. It is very alarming that at that time in the morning he was able to toss his brother from the damn roof! I can't even imagine being the mother. I don't think she'll ever be able to look at her son the same again. It's just too much and it is quite unfortunate.

  • Karen Brady

    HOLLERED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Karen Brady

    HOLLERED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dru and neil

    Not ignorant at all to this, and he would have never had access to my small children, you’re worried about the wrong thing, and that’s why that baby is dead.

  • Karen Brady

    Exactly LC! I was born and raised in NYC and rode the subway my whole lfe. I wish I would stand on the edge of a damn platform!

  • Karen Brady

    Cuz you just never know!

  • Karen Brady

    Right!!! Imagine him coming up behind you on the street. Hell to the naw in my Whitney voice!

  • Karen Brady

    I hear you. I think about that too trust me!!!

  • Karen Brady

    Agreed. He planned it. He didn't have to do that. He waited til everyone was asleep so he knew.

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    Not only should he have never been left alone with the boys, he had no business in her house - period.

  • chris

    They both her kids she has an obligation to both of them. You don't put your family out on the street to be at the mercy of these trigger happy cops. He may be 20 but he not all the way there. If there was better support for families dealing with these issues in this country the child would still be alive.

  • dru and neil

    Looks like you would have had those little children, to include yourself, in harms way. I’m inclined to think the mother may need to be charged for neglect of her other children, leaving them with an unmanaged schizophrenic. Those kids needed their mother to make smart, safe choices for their welfare and that didn’t happen.

  • dru and neil

    If the lifestyle is so great in Guyana, why the hell did any of them show up here? Why didn’t the whole lot of them stay down in South America?

  • Jussjess25

    Agreed

  • YellowSauce

    mental illness needs to stop being ignored and paid attention to ESPECIALLY BY FAMILY ... not sure why people ignore their family members needing mental help and also not stopping molestation ... I know a woman that wouldn't let her daughter even sleep over her own brothers house .... now I get it ... just like a pit bull is harmless UNTIL it locks its jaw on you .... the family and the treatment center are equally guilty for letting him out and for allowing him near children ... if anything rely's on drugs it shouldn't be deemed safe because there is a chance they won't take them one day and throw a baby off the roof .... humans make the most stupid mistakes ...

  • J2PC

    In Guyana, life expectancy is only about 67yrs old. Also, they have one of the highest suicide rates in the World. -it is a struggling country in South America where healthcare is not a priority.

    Maybe, she was desperate to get her son help via coming the US for mental healthcare. -during his 3 day stay in the hospital earlier this year he was most likely monitored & put on the right medication. The problem is he stopped taking it.

  • J2PC

    They father caused issues in the marriage because he couldn't handle his mentally-ill son. Sending him back would have guaranteed his demise because his father did not want to deal with it. It was a messed up situation. He should have been in a mental house. ijs

  • itsjismemelly

    this is sad on all levels, I can imagine how his mother must feel

  • Strappyheels

    Actually, YES!!

    Some meds side effects are not pretty at all..

  • Strappyheels

    Amazing how little people know about mental health issues.

  • Strappyheels

    J2PC 3 days ago
    Many of them end up with debilitating dry mouth, metallic tongue, no libido, feeling numb like a zombie & not being able to think, etc.
    But, worse of all the meds causes them to quickly gain weight because it ruins their metabolism and causes other medical problems like diabetes.

  • Ms.T

    Same thing I said! I would have had to find preparation for him to meet his release, there is no way he would be in my home while I am afraid of him and cant trust his behavior around my young children. He is an adult now. I have to put the youngins first. I'm not saying drop him off and don't look back, there are many homes that you can visit all the time, spend time bring family and friends. I would always LOVE my child but it's just too risky to keep him in the home.

  • Diane

    There are more opportunities for people in the US, but in his case he was already diagnosed with a mental illness and coming to a generally stressful environment. His mother also struggles financially, so supporting him in Guyana might have been better. Just an opinion

  • Diane

    There is no doubt she wanted to help him here, but she has little support herself while in Guyana he probably has more family support.

  • J2PC

    False assumptions because Not all family are willing to get involved & stressed themselves out over something they will never be able to fix or control: other folks mental illness. Severe mental illness is beyond the scope of what they can do to make a difference.

    he article said that the Father had given up. Therefore, his family is likely to back off as well. Where is the support the mother needed from her husband who pretty much shunned the young man needs for 'medical care' & mental illness services ?

    Countries like Guyana can't match the US in the same medical treatment & mental illness services. -the Mother did the right thing since the Father made his choice to just give up on his son.