sioux falls, sd
The woman who was watching Tyrone Smith's children when he stopped up at her house to take them is speaking out.
Police say Smith went to her house just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday and demanded his children at gunpoint from the babysitter. After he got them, he tied the woman up with zip ties, removed the battery from her cell phone and took off with the kids.
Smith then headed to Cost Cutters, where the mother of his children worked. The manager, Amanda Connors, was leaving the store and saw Smith coming with the kids so she called inside to warn his girlfriend.
Connors also pulled up to the front door in her car when Smith was walking in and confronted him. That's when police say Smith shot her in the head. He then took his kids and four employees inside the salon hostage. Smith later took his own life.
In a statement to KELOLAND News, the babysitter says:
I am the daycare provider that was forced into an impossible situation yesterday. I do not wish to be on camera or interviewed. My heart breaks for the young woman who was killed. I keep thinking if I had said something different maybe he wouldn't have went there.
I was doing my job of caring for children when this man put a gun in my face and made me choose between giving him his children or dying. My promise to all my daycare parents has always been to keep their children safe. I chose to let him take his children to keep the rest of the children safe. By the grace of God, all of the children slept through the ordeal. I begged him to not hurt the children or me. With a gun pointed at me I had to put an infant in a car seat and soothe his crying toddler. All the while I am watching my own child sleep right next to where he was standing, praying she did not wake up during this.
He tied me up, took the battery out of my phone, picked up his children and left. Within a minute I had freed my self and ran out my back door to the neighbors for help. I am thankful to my wonderful neighbor ladies who I scared, but were so helpful, to the police dept, and to my daycare families for putting their trust in me.