A man charged with murder in the shooting death of a 24-year-old Fairbanks man last month waited 11 minutes before calling 911, according to a criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks District Court on Sunday.
Ryder Alan Heatherly Smith, 22, of Fairbanks, called dispatchers at 5:11 a.m. Nov. 14 and said he shot an intruder during a burglary. The victim, Peter Horace-Wright, died at the scene despite lifesaving efforts by Alaska State Troopers and University Fire Department
Smith told investigators he didn’t know Horace-Wright and had met him two hours earlier at the Peger Road Tesoro gas station and convenience store. Smith claimed he was upset about a woman and that Horace-Wright consoled him and suggested they hang out together. Smith said they drove separate vehicles to Smith’s nearby shop, Badger Towing, and drank Club Cocktails while they talked.
According to Smith, Horace-Wright asked about buying a truck from him and began strangling him for no apparent reason when told the price. Smith said he grabbed his father’s shotgun, ordered Horace-Wright to leave and then shot him three times after they wrestled over the shotgun.
Troopers found four spent casings, one unspent casing and one smashed cellphone inside the shop. One spent casing and Horace-Wright’s cellphone were found outside the shop. Further investigation showed the victim’s vehicle, which was parked in front of one of the bay doors, had been shot and the fender, hood, air box, coolant line and engine block were damaged.
Troopers viewed video on Horace-Wright phone that shows Smith walking toward Horace-Wright’s vehicle while Horace-Wright says, “This is live. Don’t, this is live.” Smith looks directly at the camera and says “I don’t give a (expletive)” before shooting at the vehicle, according to the complaint. Smith turns toward Horace-Wright and says “Get the (expletive) out of here” and Horace-Wright drops the phone so only the shop and sky are visible.
The phone continued to capture audio of the incident after Horace-Wright dropped it. On the recording, shoes are heard squeaking on concrete and loud noises in the shop. After several seconds a gunshot is heard and Wright begins screaming. A second and third shot are fired in quick succession, according to the complaint.
Horace-Wright was shot twice in the upper thigh near the groin and once in the abdomen. The shots were fired while the bay door was open and the the phone’s video captured the door being close afterward. Smith can be heard calling his father before calling 911, according to the complaint.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.