Two Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide After ‘Mudding’ Double Date Turned Violent

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
July 2, 2019 Updated: July 2, 2019

Two men from Texas died after an off-roading double date ended in an apparent murder-suicide, according to officials.

A day before his 28th birthday, Austin Smith was shot dead by 32-year-old Coby Rigsby after the night turned violent. Rigsby then shot himself, said authorities.

The group of four were driving their four wheelers through mud on June 29 before the pair returned to Rigsby’s home and started arguing, reported ABC 13 Houston.

Houston police officers responded to reports of a shooting in northeast Harris County, in the 3600 block of Kennington Court in the Idleloch subdivision, at around 3:15 a.m. on June 30.

When deputies arrived at the residence, they found the 27-year-old dead from shotgun wounds in a driveway near his parked pickup truck, trailer and four wheeler, the outlet reported.

Speaking to police, the victim’s girlfriend said they had been “mudding” on a double date with Rigsby and his girlfriend, before the two men got into a heated argument, the nature of which is still unclear.

Smith allegedly attempted to step in and break up an argument between Rigsby and his girlfriend, before Smith and Rigsby broke into a street fight in front of the home.

The 32-year-old reportedly then went to get a gun, prompting Smith and the two women to flee the premises.

It was when Smith later returned to the property with his girlfriend to pick up his vehicle and load it onto the trailer, that he was fatally shot by Rigsby, according to the Patch.

Following the incident, neighbors tried to save Smith’s life by performing CPR for 20 minutes, but he sadly died at the scene.

Later, when deputies attempted to contact Rigsby, he pulled the trigger on himself inside his home, where he was found dead.

The incident is currently under investigation by Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide, according to ABC’s report.

Anyone with more information related to the incident is urged to get in touch with the Homicide Unit at 713-274-9100.

Murder-Suicide in San Jose, California

In a separate incident last month, five people were killed in California in an apparent murder-suicide after a four-hour standoff, San Jose police said.

Chi Dinh Ta, 66, reportedly shot and killed the group of three women and one man; Le Thuy Hoang, 51, of Milpitas; Thanh Hoa Hoang, 23; Thi Que Pham, 42, and Phung Ngoc Hoang, 28, reported CBS SF.

San Jose police responded to reports of a shooting at around 8:30 p.m. on June 23, at the 500 block of Habbitts Court home. Officers reported witnessing who they believe were family members, fleeing the residence.

After killing the four victims, Le Thuy turned the gun on himself and died of a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

Suicide a Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Vital Signs: Trends in State Suicide Rates on June 8, 2018, revealing that suicide rates have increased by 30 percent since 1999. However, the report points out that there were a variety of factors other than mental health conditions that lead to suicide.

“Suicide rates increased significantly across most states during 1999–2016. Various circumstances contributed to suicides among persons with and without known mental health conditions,” the report stated.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.