|“||Heh... I’m not important enough to tell you my name, and names have no meaning, but as a signpost to lead on this mad world, I’ll leave you something you can carve into a gravestone... My name is Smith. Gunmeister Smith. Remember my name with a gunshot and take pride in it every time you fear it. And be grateful... that you have not yet gone mad.||”|
Laz "Gunmeister" Smith (ラズ・"ガンマイスター"・スミス, Razu "Ganmaisutā" Sumisu) is an assassin who, despite his profession, has yet to actually assassinate anyone. In 1932, he inherits the title and legacy of serial killer Ice Pick Thompson from his future apprentice Mark Wilmens.
Smith has brown hair and wears a wide-brimmed hat and a long overcoat, along the inside of which are lined about thirty firearms of varying types. His short-lived fight with Berga Gandor in 1932 earns him a wide horizontal scar across the bridge of his nose.
Smith considers insanity his highest ideal, and is convinced that he is a madman in his own right; however, most people believe he is just self-absorbed. While he often delivers self-important, pseudo-philosophical statements on insanity, he generally speaks with an authority and possesses an excessive pride in both himself and his profession that many would consider unwarranted, when compared to his actual accomplishments. This arrogance especially puts him at odds with Ladd Russo, who despises people of Smith's personality type.
During the Runorata raid of the Daily Days' headquarters on January 2, Smith tries to shoot both Claire Stanfield and Maria Barcelito while they are dueling each other. Berga Gandor intervenes by redirecting Smith's aim downward, which results in the bullets clipping Berga's legs instead. Though Smith manages to shoot Berga several times, Berga delivers a punch to his face that not only breaks his nose but knocks him out cold.
Later on, Alkins uses Smith's body as a human shield while exchanging fire with Claire. Smith's arsenal of guns effectively saves his life, as they absorb most of the impact of Claire's bullets and prevent fatal penetrative trauma.
Smith spends the next six months recovering at Fred's Clinic, with his time as an inpatient coming to an end by August. Upon encountering Graham Specter and his gang at the Jane Doe speakeasy that month, he tries to explain away his months-long absence as a deliberate soul-searching journey; however, Graham has already heard via Maria that, unlike her, Smith was injured in the Daily Days fight. Instead of admitting the truth, Smith doubles down by accusing Maria of lying and vows to kill her.
Graham introduces his new companion Elmer C. Albatross to Smith as his personal savior, and the world's savior by dint of his mission to make the entire world smile. Smith, approving of the mission's supposed inherent lunacy, deems Elmer a madman after his own ilk. Later on, after remembering Graham's desire for firearms, Smith gives Graham five guns from his coat. Graham promptly dismantles them all within seconds—apparently having asked for them solely for that purpose.
Somewhat put out and simultaneously impressed, Smith acknowledges the 'lunacy' of Graham's skill as he reassembles the first gun in less than a minute. After he does the same with another gun, he finally admits that he lost to the Gandors by way of making excuses for his defeat.
Once he finishes his cocktail, Smith heads to an abandoned building near Grand Central Station to meet with Lester, his newest client. Lester tasks Smith with killing Mark Wilmens, the serial killer known as Ice Pick Thompson, and gives Smith a note containing Mark's description and apartment address.
Smith goes to Mark's apartment and waits for Mark to return home. As soon as Mark steps through the front entrance, Smith locks the door, points a rifle at Mark's head, and demands Mark explain why he became a serial killer. Mark shares his story willingly. When Smith asks for Mark's last words, Mark confesses that he had mistaken his last target and killed an innocent man instead.
At Mark's confession, Smith produces a newspaper article which he believes may be about the innocent victim in question. The article reports that Ice Pick Thompson's fifth and latest victim has been identified as prostitute Lisha Darken, news that both horrifies and bewilders Mark: horrified because Lisha was his former caretaker; and bewildered because he most certainly did not kill her. Smith decides to spare Mark's life, asking for Ice Pick Thompson's identity in exchange due to his lack of a reputation as an assassin.
Upon exiting the apartment, he runs into Graham, Shaft, and Elmer about to enter the same building. Smith informs them that he has killed Mark and heads back to the abandoned building, with the trio accompanying him; once he arrives at the building's front entrance, he orders them to abscond and do whatever they want elsewhere.
Elmer asks Smith if he really killed Mark and, when Smith insists that he did, whispers into his ear that Smith's smile was forced when he first claimed he killed Mark. As such, Elmer believes that Smith likely spared Mark instead. Astonished, Smith enters the abandoned building without another word.
Some time earlier, Lester had told the Gandor Family that Smith was Ice Pick Thompson and that they could find him in the abandoned building. As a result of the tip-off, a group of Gandor subordinates—including Maria—are lying in wait for Smith by the time he arrives, with capo Nicola Casetti at the group's helm.
Maria attacks Smith once he enters the building, though Nicola promptly calls her off as he is responsible for her safety. As they prepare to leave with Smith in their custody, Graham confronts them out of nowhere and demands to know what they are doing with his idol. He immediately rejects Nicola's explanation that Smith is Ice Pick Thompson, countering that Smith has never killed anyone before. Undeterred, Smith once again asserts that he is indeed Ice Pick Thompson and rattles off a story about his quest to avenge Paula Wilmens—essentially an altered version of Mark's backstory.
Nicola remains unconvinced, but since Graham refuses to let the Gandors take Smith without a fight, decides to face Graham man to man rather than risk attracting the police via gunfire. However, Shaft's unexpected arrival—with reinforcements in tow—leads Nicola to call off the fight for the sake of preventing all-out war. Before he leaves, he asks Smith if he truly is not responsible for Lisha's death. Smith swears he is not, identifying Lester as her true murderer.
By the following evening, Smith has taken on Mark as his apprentice.
By February 1935, Smith and Mark are either living at Fred's Poorhouse or at the very least frequenting it for meals.
One morning, Smith and Mark's breakfast in the cafeteria is disturbed when Nader Schasschule threatens the breakfast cook with a fork. Irritated by the disturbance, Smith threatens Nader in turn by pointing a shotgun at his temple. The situation is resolved when Alkins smashes a liquor bottle against Nader's head, causing him to pass out.
(1935 to be expanded.)
Mark Wilmens: Mark is Smith's first apprentice, and as such, he seems to view Mark as the inheritor to his insanity.
Graham Specter: Graham and Smith first met while the latter was spreading rumors about himself among the delinquents of New York. Graham looks up to Smith in a way similar to his admiration for Ladd Russo.
While Smith's specialty lies in guns, he admits his marksmanship is poor and claims to compensate via rapidly firing at his targets. However, he has demonstrated clear skill and impressive speed when it comes to assembling and dismantling the firearms themselves. His physical ability is improved when he is not wearing his coat, given that it weighs thirty kilograms, but he has never been seen without it.
Smith was also able to stand his ground during his fight with Maria Barcelito.