Son says his mother was no threat when she was shot and killed by deputy

BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — “I couldn’t even touch her hand or kiss her on the forehead,” said Anthony Bell, whose 47-year-old mom was shot and killed by a Bastrop County Sheriff’s deputy.

Bell said he was notified of his mother’s death six hours after the shooting.

“I answered the door and there were two investigators there, and they said your mom’s been involved in an accident. I thought a car wreck and he said, no, she was shot by an officer and she died. I just lost it then.”

Daniel Willis
Bastrop County Deputy Daniel Willis

In an initial statement, the sheriff’s office said Yvette Smith was armed when deputy Daniel Willis, 28, shot her, but later retracted that statement. Now, the sheriff’s office says it is “unclear whether Smith actually had a gun.”

Police said a woman called 911 saying two men were fighting over a gun inside a home in the 100 block of Zimmerman Avenue, just north of Bastrop. Witnesses who were inside the house at the time said the woman called 911 and told the dispatcher the fight was over money, not a gun.

The homeowner told KXAN he was standing near the patrol cars when he heard the dispatcher say there was  a gun inside the house.  He told KXAN he immediately told deputies there were no guns inside, but that’s when Smith opened the door.

“The woman disregarded all commands,” according to the sheriff’s office statement. Witnesses on the scene contradict that.

Smith was taken to St. David’s Emergency Clinic in Bastrop where she died.

“I was asleep, and I heard gun shots,” said Jo Martinez, who lives across the street. The homeowner told KXAN Yvette was hit once in the head and once in the abdomen.

“Now that this has happened, it just makes us insecure here,” said Martinez, “It’s tragic. ”

“She was just a loving, caring, genuine person,” Bell said. “You got a mother of two gone. The woman beat cancer, just got out of knee surgery and was battling diabetes. She was 5-foot-5, 135 pounds, and if you find that aggressive then you need to turn your badge in.

“You’re going to have to go back and look at who’s hiring and training these people and what protocols should you follow and what didn’t you follow.,” he added. “You took my mom from me.”

KXAN asked the sheriff’s office if a gun was recovered at the scene, but they have not responded to our inquiry.

Willis is on paid administrative leave. He has been with the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office since May 2013.

The Texas Rangers are handling the investigation into the shooting. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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