Authorities in Harlem, New York, had to deal with a slew of them one afternoon in October 2019. Neighborly feuds escalated, resulting in a double murder, arson, and suicide.
‘Fear Thy Neighbor: The Enemy Upstairs,’ a show on Investigation Discovery, dives into the feud between Hampton Smith and Bruce Anderson, and how it all resulted in a catastrophe that claimed three lives.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about what occurred, we’ve got you covered.
What Caused Hampton Smith and Yvette Rivera’s Deaths?
Hampton Gordon Smith was born in December 1941 in South Carolina. He relocated to New York in his 20s and operated his own janitorial service at one point, earning the nickname “Smitty.”
At the time of his death, the 78-year-old was a superintendent for three Harlem buildings and shared an apartment with his girlfriend, Yvette Rivera, 62.
She was characterised as an outgoing lady, and she and her husband were well-known in the neighbourhood.
Their untimely demise, however, occurred on October 18, 2019, in the afternoon. After reports of gunfire in Hampton and Yvette’s apartment building, 911 was called.
Hampton was found dead in the first-floor hallway shortly after 2 p.m., with a gunshot wound to the head.
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He was also stabbed numerous times, according to the episode. Then, on the second level, Yvette was shot in the head and was unresponsive.
She was brought to the hospital, but she died soon after from her injuries.
Who was Responsible for the Deaths of Hampton Smith and Yvette Rivera?
Bruce Anderson, 59, was a former construction worker who had had a hip injury a few years before.
He was disabled and didn’t appear to be working at the time. According to numerous neighbours in the building, Bruce and Hampton were always squabbling and had previously complained to the authorities about each other.
According to neighbours, Bruce seemed to be the only one who had an issue with Hampton.
“He (Bruce) didn’t like noise,” a resident, Ronald Mitchell, said. That was the point of contention between them.
Over his head, there was a ruckus. They’d squabble about it. He’d threaten them if they didn’t do it. “The cops had been called a few times.”
This went on for nearly a decade, with Bruce becoming enraged when Hampton and Yvette walked into their shared flat above his.
The 59-year-old would knock on the door of the adored pair but would never get a response.
Another neighbour related a story of Bruce threatening Hampton with a mop the previous year.
“If you don’t keep the noise down, I’m going to come up there and whip your a–!” he said, according to the neighbour.
Other neighbours described Bruce as grouchy and said he only spoke to others when he thought there was a problem.
What Caused Bruce Anderson’s Death?
On October 18, 2019, the conflict between Bruce and Hampton took a tragic turn. After an argument, officials believe Bruce killed Hampton in the first-floor corridor.
Bruce apparently locked himself in his flat after shooting Yvette upstairs, demanding at the officers, “Come and get it!”
The police then discovered that he had set the house on fire, prompting them to break down the door.
Bruce was found with a gunshot wound to the head in the bathroom, having committed suicide shortly after the double murder.