He believes his son’s death saved the community from a potential tragedy
Frederick, MD (KB) At a news conference on Thursday, Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins shared details on the ongoing investigation of the murder of 19 year-old Curtis Mason Smith. 19-year-old Joshua David Eckenrode of Thurmont is charged with 1st-degree murder and use of a firearm in a violent crime. Sheriff Jenkins said explosive devices, firearms, hand guns, rifles, and ammunition were found in Eckenrode’s apartment as detectives conducted a search and seizure operation. . In charging documents, police wrote Eckenrode was possibly intent on committing a mass shooting and/or mass casualty event.
Sheriff Jenkins said his investigators found evidence that alluded to such an event, and that Eckenrode did not plan to survive. “Beyond that at this point we just simply don’t know,” explained Jenkins.
Smith’s father, Zachary, believes his son’s death saved the community from what could have been a tragic event. “Everybody needs to remember Mason was a great kid, he was a hero,” stated Zachary Smith. “He always had a smile. And he’s still smiling now — he’s smiling at all this and smiling at what he saved.”
Sheriff Jenkins also shared some updates on the investigation. “To the knowledge right now of my investigators, no, to our knowledge there was no one else involved in this murder,” said Jenkins. “No conspiracy, no other direct involvements of any kind that we’re aware of.”
The Sheriff also addressed the victim’s family. “I want to express my sincere condolences to the entire Smith family, this was a senseless, needless tragedy,” he said. “There’s no reason on earth why one 19 year-old should take the life of another.”
Frederick County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Todd Wivell said there will be a candlelight vigil for Smith on Sunday April 11th at 7 p.m. at Clover Hill Park.
Thursday’s new conference was held at 8129 Runnymeade Drive, where Curtis’ body was found.