Wilmington police were not shot at by suspects
WILMINGTON — Three men shot by law enforcement did not fire on officers after allegedly robbing a Pizza Hut last week, the Wilmington police chief said Wednesday.
"The suspects refused to comply with the officers' commands and ran towards our officers," Chief Ralph Evangelous said during a news conference.
Authorities have said Tevin Robinson, 20, and Ronald Dashawn Roland, 18, were killed in the Oct. 25 shootings. Twenty-year-old Jalani Smith was wounded in the hand.
According to Evangelous, the suspects refused to comply with commands and ran toward the police officers, who then fired. All three men were taken to a hospital, where Robinson and Roland died.
Smith was arrested Saturday and charged with four counts of first-degree kidnapping, five counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery. He is being held at New Hanover County jail in lieu of a $1.5 million bond, and it wasn't known if he had a lawyer.
The Pizza Hut was being staked out after a spate of robberies, and officers saw the suspects using guns, the chief said.
According to North Carolina law, officers can use deadly force to defend themselves or someone else from what they believe to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.
As is standard in officer-involved shootings, the State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the incident. Evangelous said Wednesday that six officers had been placed on leave.