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Family of 3 domestic violence victims raise money for surviving children

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Posted at 5:09 PM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-24 18:09:46-04

KANSAS CITY, Ks — A domestic violence case in Kansas City, Kansas left two women dead and one other injured last Thursday night in the 2700 Block of North 123rd Street.

51-year-old Christopher Smith shot three family members, Penny Smith, Kristy and Chelsea Thow, then took his own life.

Penny Smith was married to the shooter. Her three sisters say it was her forgiving heart that ultimately led to her death. Smith used to text one of her sisters, Melissa Dennis, often complaining about her husband’s violence. They say he would beat her, then ask for forgiveness when she threatened to leave.

“Willing to forgive, obviously, over and over to their abuser. And are willing to, consistently willing to, give up their own sense of belief in the sake of love and family,” said another sister, Nouken Souvanh. “As women, when you hear the word family, we will do almost anything to keep our family.”

The family says Christopher Smith had a history of drinking problems and was intoxicated the night of the shooting.

According to members of the family, Smith got into an argument with one of his stepdaughters over the television volume. When things started escalating, the stepdaughter called the rest of the family, who were celebrating at a graduation party, to come to the house.

Smith shot his two stepdaughters, before turning around to shoot his wife. Penny Smith and Kristy Thow died from their injuries, while Chelsea Thow is recovering at the hospital.

“I want this news to reach out to women out there that there are help for the abuser and the victims. There are help, because I don’t want this to happened to anyone,” said Souvanh. “Share, because the only way that we can bring awareness to anything is that we share our stories and we share our pain so that we have support to figure out how to solve problems.”

The surviving members of the family are now asking the public for financial help. A GoFundMe has been created for the children of the victims so that their college funds can be created.

“They understand. But they're kids,” said Dennis.