Hours After Father’s Death, Deputy’s Son Graduates

RUSSELLVILLE, AR –  A Johnson County deputy was shot and killed Thursday night while pursuing a burglary suspect. Friday night, the deputy’s son graduates from high school.

At the Clarksville High School graduation commencement at Arkansas Tech University, it was clear the Smith family had a big support system during this very difficult time.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were present, standing together in honor of their fallen brother as Deputy Smith’s son walks across the stage.
An emotional moment for Smith family when they called Dakota Smith to receive his diploma.

Those inside say a group of officers saluted him. Teachers presented Smith’s wife with flowers during the commencement.

In honor of the Deputy Smith, the graduating class along with the police force wore a black ribbon.

“There was also a standing ovation for him and a round of applause. The moment they said his name until the moment he sat so you could definitely felt a moment there of support and love for that family,” said youth minister Chad Race. 

“There was a lot of outpouring emotion at that point he received a lot of applause and rightfully so. It took a lot of courage for him and his family to be here tonight and I know that’s where their dad would want them to be,” said Dr. David Hopkins, Clarksville Superintendent.

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