Victim fun, likeable guy

Published 11:56 am Saturday, November 10, 2012


FRANKLIN—Marcus Picot, who played baseball with Eric “E.T.” Smith at Franklin High School, on Friday struggled with the news of Smith’s murder.

“He was a leader to me,” said Picot, 29, of Colonial Heights. “He took me under his wing when we played baseball together, and I have respected him from that day forward.”

Picot called Smith a good man who suffered from a senseless tragedy.

Smith, 31, of Franklin was shot at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in at his mother’s Pearl Street home. He was hit in the lower torso and died while being treated.

Franklin police on Friday issued a warrant for the arrest of Sol “Dukey” Damacus Burke, 25, of Suffolk.

Picot said Smith was not the type of person to revert to violence.

“E.T. was not a fighter, he would walk away from a fight,” Picot said.

Vickie Whitfield, 29, who graduated from Franklin High School with Smith said he never bothered anyone.

“He was a good father, brother, uncle, classmate and friend,” Whitfield said. “He was just your average guy trying to make it.”

“There are a lot of people who are going to be hurt by this tragedy,” added longtime friend Durah Tanner, 33.

Tanner and Whitfield noted that Smith knew how to make people laugh.

“He was a humble dude who always stayed full of jokes,” said Tanner.

Shandy Gray, who also went to school with Smith, was baffled by the news.

“I don’t know what happened, but I’m sure there was a better way it could’ve been resolved,” the 28-year-old said. “We have to stop fighting each other and stand together.”

Gray and Picot both sympathize with Smith’s family.

“I know this is an especially hard time for his family when his death comes so soon after his grandma’s,” Picot said.