Suffolk man wanted in Franklin murder case

Published 10:32 pm Friday, November 9, 2012

By Gwen Albers

The Tidewater News

FRANKLIN — Franklin police on Friday issued a warrant for the arrest of a Suffolk man wanted in a Thursday night murder in the city.

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Sol “Dukey” Damacus Burke, 25, is believed to have killed Eric “E.T.” Smith, 31, of Franklin, at 8:30 p.m. in the 300 block of Pearl Street, police said. Burke is described as a 6-foot-4-inch, 230-pound black man. He has a tattoo that reads “Dukey” on his right forearm and bicep.


He may be in a 2004 red Dodge Durango with Virginia tag XDL-9247, police said.

Laverne Smith has no doubt her son’s murder was premeditated.

“This was planned, this was absolutely planned,” Smith said Friday morning from the porch of her home where her son was gunned down 12 hours earlier.

Laverne Smith didn’t want to talk about the motive, but understands the shooter knocked on the door of her home, and when her son answered, he was shot.

“The lady (next door) heard eight shots,” Smith said. “You can see blood on the door. When I went into the house, you could see blood in the kitchen.”

She assumes her son was attempting to escape from the shooter.

Bullets from a 9 mm gun were found in an outside wall and inside the home, Smith said.

After E.T. Smith, a father of four daughters ranging from 1 to 6 years old, was shot, he went to his cousin’s upstairs apartment for help.

“I called dispatch for an ambulance and he came downstairs (to wait),” said Twan Maclin, who also heard shots.

Maclin was unaware of a motive.

“It had to be planned by how it happened,” he said.

Shortly before the shooting, Laverne Smith had gone to a relative’s home to play cards. Before she left, her son was eating dinner and planned to watch a movie.

She got a call from a niece that her youngest of three had been shot.

“I jumped up from the table and I couldn’t move,” Smith said. “When I got to the hospital (Southampton Memorial), they wouldn’t let me see him. They said they got him stable.”

Then she said she heard “code blue.”

“I knew right then that he was dead,” Smith said. “I kissed him and said ‘I love you,’ and he felt cold.”

E.T. Smith was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“They said there was nothing we could do for him,” Smith said.

A onetime running back for Franklin High School, E.T. Smith was unemployed, but had been looking for a job. Just recently, he had helped his mother set up her apartment and changed a flat tire for her.

“He was a good sport and he loved his girls to death,” she said. “They’re gonna miss him.”

Anyone with information should call the Franklin Police at 562-8575, Det. Cpl. J. Butts at 562-2849 or Franklin Crime Solvers at 562-8599. Information that leads to an arrest can earn the caller a cash reward while remaining anonymous.