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Hampton man accused of driving drunk, shooting in public with 6-year-old daughter in vehicle

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Posted at 4:04 PM, Sep 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-02 16:28:55-04

Newport News, Va. – A Hampton man was arrested in Newport News after police say he fired a gun and was driving drunk all while his 6-year-old daughter was in the backseat.

On September 1, 2015 at around 2:44 p.m., police were in the area in the 13000 block of Aqueduct Drive when they heard a gunshot.

Officers saw a black SUV with two people visible. They say no one else was in the parking lot and the gunshot came from the direction of the vehicle.

One person ran inside and the SUV left the parking lot speeding, police say.

They caught up to the vehicle on Colony Road and Warwick Blvd and found 32-year-old Joseph Smith III inside along with his 6-year-old daughter who was not properly restrained in a booster seat.

Police say they found a magazine loaded with cartridges on the center console and an open bottle of vodka on the seat floorboard. They also found a handgun on the driver’s side front seat floorboard.

They say Smith had blurry eyes, slurred speech and was moving slowly.  Police say they could smell the alcohol on his breath.

They performed field sobriety tests on Smith and he was then charged.

Smith was charged with shooting a firearm into a public place, concealed weapon, reckless handling of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and DWI.