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Update: Police warned post offices employees might be attack targets

Update: Police warned post offices employees might be attack targets

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Updated 9:41 p.m.

GREENSBORO — Police warned local U.S. Postal Service officials early Monday that Menice Montell Smith had attacked an employee in Greensboro and might be targeting other post office employees, including an woman who was picked up by police for her own protection.

Authorities knew about Smith because his first victim was able to identify the man who beat her with a crowbar.

Deborah Kay Huffines, 53, called 911 for help and named Smith as her attacker.

“The first incident we were made aware of was at a post office,” said Greensboro police spokeswoman Susan Danielsen, referring to Huffines, who was attacked at 5:08 a.m. at the post office at 1585 Yanceyville St.

“Based on the viciousness of the attack, we posted extra patrols at post offices (Monday) and notified the postmaster general.”

Huffines remains in stable condition at Moses Cone Hospital. Danielsen said she will require multiple surgeries.

Police picked up Charlene Brown for her own protection after Huffines’ 911 call. Danielsen said she could not confirm that Brown was a current post office employee but that she was a postal employee at some point.

In a 2007 restraining order, Brown said she dated Smith and asked for court protection from him for herself and family members.

Danielsen said police also put additional patrols in the post offices where Smith, a contracted delivery driver, transported bulk mail. She said the postmaster general also got word out to employees to be on the lookout for Smith.

Smith, 41, according to police, killed two other women and himself after leaving the post office in Yanceyville. Jaime Lynn Goode, 36, whom neighbors identified as his current girlfriend, was found dead in her home at 3573 Sydney Oaks Drive about three hours after the attack on Huffines.

Authorites said Smith also killed post office employee Michaela Dionne Brewington, 46, who was discovered in her home at 3815 Pineway Drive.

According to authorities, Smith left Brewington’s house in her white Mercedes and led police on a chase. He shot himself after crashing into a tree in the median of the 3300 block of South Elm-Eugene Street.

Authorities have not released details of autopsies of Smith, Goode and Brewington, which were performed today at the state medical examiner’s office in Raleigh.

Police Capt. Mike Richey said he expected the autopsies to be completed Tuesday, and that police spent the day interviewing friends and family of Smith and his victims.

“We’re still trying to figure out why it happened,” Richey said. “We don’t know Ms. Huffines' relationship to (Smith).”

Authorities have said they have collected all the weapons Smith used in the attacks.

It’s unclear if Smith had a permit to own a gun. Gun permits and concealed handgun permits are not public information according to a new state law that went into effect in October.


Updated 2:45 p.m.

GREENSBORO — Police notified local U.S. Postal Service officials early Monday that Menice Montell Smith had targeted an employee in Greensboro and might be targeting other post office employees.

"The first incident we were made aware of was at a post office," said Susan Danielsen, referring to Deborah Huffines, 53, (text amended to reflect correction 3/25/14) who police say Smith attacked with a crowbar. "Based on the viciousness of the attack, we posted extra patrols at post offices and notified the postmaster general."

Police had a description from Huffines of the man who attacked her. Danielsen said Huffines told police she recognized Smith in a 911 call.

Huffines remains in stable condition at Moses Cone Hospital. Danielsen said she will require multiple surgeries.

Police put the additional patrols in the post offices where Smith, a contracted delivery driver, delivered bulk mail. Danielsen said the postmaster general also got word out to employees to be on the lookout for Smith.

On Tuesday, police were still investigating the relationships between Smith, Huffines and Michaela Brewington, who also worked for the postal service. Smith was dating Jamie Goode. 

Brewington and Goode were found dead in their respective homes. Smith, 41, shot himself after he crashed into a tree during a police chase.

Autopsies for Smith, Brewington and Goode were performed today.


Posted 1 p.m.

GREENSBORO — Autopsies will be performed today on two women killed Monday and the man police hold responsible for the deaths.

The examinations on Jamie Lynn Goode, Michaela Dionne Brewington and Menice Montell Smith will be conducted at the N.C. Medical Examiner's Office in Raleigh today, according to the office.

A third victim, Deborah Kay Huffines, 53 remains in stable condition at Moses Cone Hospital. According to police spokeswoman Susan Danielsen, Huffines will need multiple surgeries.

Smith, 41, is accused of killing 36-year-old Goode, who has been described as his girlfriend and acquaintance Brewington, 46. Both women were found in their respective homes.

Smith shot himself midday Monday when police were closing in on him on South Elm-Eugene Street.

Greensboro Police Capt. Mike Richey said he expected the autopsies to be completed today, and that police will continue to interview friends and family of those involved in the attacks.

The attacks on the three women began early Monday, sometime between 3 and 7 a.m.

At least one of the two dead women — Goode — was shot, according to police. It's unclear if Smith had a permit to own a gun. Gun permits and concealed handgun permits are not public information according to a new N.C. General Statute that went into effect in October.

"We're still trying to figure out why it happened," Richey said. "We don't know Ms. Huffines' relationship to (Smith)."

Smith, Brewington and Huffines  all were connected to the U.S. Postal Service, according to police. Smith was a truck driver contracted by the Postal Service. Huffines worked at the Post Office at Yanceyville Street where she was attacked. Brewington was also a postal employee.

Messages left with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have not been returned.

Police said Smith took Brewington's white Mercedes sedan after killing her. Authorities were initially looking for Smith driving a black or dark colored Chevy Tahoe based on witness descriptions following his attack on Huffines at about 5:10 a.m. Monday.

By mid morning, law enforcement had tied Smith to the white Mercedes through a call from a neighborhood witness. A sheriff's deputy spotted Smith in the Mercedes near Vandalia Road and S. Elm-Eugene Street at about 11:55 a.m. Smith crashed the car into a tree during a chase with police, then shot himself.

Prior to the chase, police were investigating who owned the car Smith was in.

"A sheriff's deputy gave the (license) tag of the Mercedes over the air (on the radio)," Richey said. "Others went to the address where it was registered."

The address was Brewington's home on Pineway Drive. Investigators went to the house and found Brewington dead.

A day after the attacks, the connections and motives remain unclear.

"This went from an assault focus to a manhunt then back to an investigation after his death," Richey said. "It will take a while to figure everything out and I don't know that we'll ever know for sure."

Contact Sarah Newell Williamson at (336) 373-7076, and follow @snewell on Twitter.

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