Two suspects dead, one jailed after restaurant robbery leads to police shooting
 

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- On the same night Wilmington Police launched a joint patrol effort with New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies to combat the city's gang problem, officers wound up in a shoot-out after the latest late-night restaurant robbery. When it was over, two suspects were dead and a third was in the hospital.

Police say around 11:45 p.m. Friday, three men approached an employee outside the Pizza Hut at 2402 S. 17th Street. Investigators say Jalani Smith, 20, Ronald Roland, 18, and Tevin Robinson, 20, all from Brunswick County, forced the employee back into the restaurant at gunpoint and robbed the people inside.

When the suspects left the building they met police officers outside. WPD says the suspects refused commands from officers and gunshots were exchanged. All three suspects were injured and taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Roland and Robinson were pronounced dead a few hours later.

Smith has been released from the hospital and is now in the New Hanover County Jail under a $1.5 million bond. He is charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery, multiple armed robbery charges and four counts of first degree kidnapping. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.

Court records show Smith has pending drug charges in Brunswick County, as did Roland. Smith is also due in court in February in Brunswick County for a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed gun.

Police say they had been monitoring restaurants due to several recent armed robberies at restaurants in Wilmington and Leland. Officers were close by the Pizza Hut when the robbery happened. Police say the three suspects may have been tied to multiple business robberies in both Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

Both Wilmington Police and New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies responded to last night's robbery. No officers were injured in the shooting. A WPD spokeswoman said the names of the officers could not yet be released as SBI investigates.

All three suspects were recent graduates of North Brunswick High School in Leland, where they played various sports.

A friend who did not wish to appear on camera says Roland and Robinson were good guys with promising futures ahead of them.

He says Roland, the father of two young children was a basketball and track star who had just graduated in June.

And he says Robinson was like a brother to him.

Robinson’s aunt says her nephew was attending A & T College and was in the navy reserve with hopes of being a police officer.

Robinson’s friend says surviving suspect, Smith was a presidential scholar and a leader in his ROTC class.

North Brunswick coach Bryan Hayes said in a statement,"I personally knew all three young men involved in this tragedy. My thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to the family and parties involved. I hope everyone sees the learning opportunity in this situation.”

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Finally the police around here do something right. I really hated these LEO jerks around here until I saw this on the news. As they say "when you live by the gun you die by the gun". You little street punks need to get a job and a real life or my boys in blue are going to smoke you!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the families of these boys, but maybe you should have taught them better than this. And I pray to god the police keep their fingers on the triggers and stay ready to smoke some more wanna be thugs. Keep listening to your rap music and robbing people and carrying guns you probably stole so you can get your own body-bag. And to the one that's not dead, enjoy your nice stay in our fabulous prison system!!! It's very very nice. See you in 10-15 years!!!!!

My Condolences go out to all the familys involved in this tragedy. The police really could have handled this in a better way w/o anyone being killed. What really happen? Is this on Camera?

listen to the audio tape.

Question -- feel any sympathy for the employees who had guns in their ears?

I don't know how much different the police department could've handled it however they didn't listen to the police department's commands. These boys only what they were getting into and the consequences of their actions. I think the Wilmington Police Department did a fine job. Keep up the good work.

You sound like Al Sharpton. The police did what they had to do. Look past your hatred, and realize, the Armed Robbers were the ones who could've handled it in a better way. By the way, do you have any video justifying the Armed Robber's actions.

It is a tragedy when any life is lost under any circumstance. God please touch the minds of the innocent in this situation and give them peace. Let them know that you were with them during that time and because you loved and protected them, their lives were not lost on that day. Everyday God, ease their pain a little more. Continue to protect all officers of the law as they continue to do their job. Be with them every step of the way. God, be with the family of the suspects and comfort them in their time of need and grief. Be whatever they need during this time whether it be a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. God, touch the minds of our young children and adults. Show them crime is not the way and that it only leads to circumstances worst than the ones they may be in now. And lastly God, prick the hearts of readers of this story with compassion. Give them the understanding that those slain are members of a family, and because you are love they should only speak love if they are children of you. And if they can't find it in their hearts to speak love,even if that love is only for the innocent, to keep all negativity to themselves. I ask these things in your son's Jesus's name. AMEN.

Every right for these young men to defined as "great promising young boys with bright futures" goes out the window the instant they picked up a weapon and pointed it at an innocent person. I commend the police officers who defended those customers and employees. As a North Brunswick graduate and a United States Marine I am ashamed to have been at school with these men and that Tevin was also a member of the Naval Service.

That doesn't surprise me. I know a white teenage neighbor, who works hard, and has a perfectly clean record, and can't even get into the military.

Who knows, with Affirmative Action, this Armed Robber. (With his NC AT&T degree), had a good shot at making Captain or even Admiral. Things are so unfair. Its time to look beyond skin color, and do away with Affirmative Action. Racial Preferences are so unfair. A person's skin color, should not ever matter.

I think Affirmative Action, and Welfare, has helped create many monsters, like these armed robbers. They honestly saw nothing wrong with forcibly taking money from, and possibly, killing another person. And why not ? They have grown up in this Culture Of Entitlement.

This post sounds ridiculous. Please stand in front of an audience and read it aloud. There are a number of reasons why your friend may not be able to join the military. They government does more than check your background. I REALLY hope you were using satire when you wrote AT&T degree. And as far as welfare goes, Blacks and Whites statistically are almost equal in the percentage makeup of welfare recipients with Hispanics making up the difference. Your post is so off topic and full of erroneous statements. While we're on the subject of entitlement, feel entitled to a higher education and get it so you can respond to topics intelligently.

On point and well said!! This person is an idiot.

Job well done to all all LEO'S involved.

Before I get into my comment I would like to ask God to help the families that lost love one and also help the police cope with the after effects of murder. .Weather right or wrong they still change your life.

The question I ask is why. Why did these young gifted black kids choose this route? Although a lot of people think that young blacks just wake up one morning and decide to rob Pizza Huts.their is a reason why. Did one of those guys have a job at pizza hut and felt that they were treated unfair. Maybe they had a family member that work their ,was dedicated and was fired or forced out unfairly. I have seen this happen to parents,and the sons of the single Mom want to take matters into his own hands.their is more to this story than what appears on the surface. If you notice that after the Travon Martin case the violence has gotten worse.The outcome of that case tells young black america that you can be minding your business and get killed and their is still no justice for them. God bless America.....in my little Wayne voice.

My next why is why we're the killed? I know that the police had a job to do but did they follow procedure. I notice that they have not gave a official statement yet. why? They are not giving detail about how things happened. why? When shots were fired from the suspects did they hit the car a building or anything . How can they prove that they fired at them. At least they got cameras in their vehicle to help with that right? I think that I know why they killed the guys.Because of the rise in recent violent crime the officers were going into a scary situation. Also this sends a message to all the others that they will KILL you. God it is in your hands.

When someone uses a gun to rape, kill, or rob, somebody, the police are bound, by duty to stop them. They do not have to wait for the suspect to shoot them. And its dumb to tackle a man with a gun, or knife.

Enforcing and obeying the law, is the work of St Michael. Robbing Pizza Huts, and killing delivery workers, and a Cape Fear student is the work of Satan'.

That is so true! How do we know that they exchanged shots with them? I hope its on camera. I knew this was going to happen b/c of the shootings in Creekwood. It gave them justification to shoot first and ask questions last. I'm sorry about them young guys making the wrong choices. I really feel that this was just something they wanted to do anyway to make an example out of what they been wanting to do to black guys. They don't come to the rescue of shoot outs in the hood when they shooting at each other, playing HERO! The question is WHY? You don't know what they was going through. Also they could have used other alternatives. They could have aimed at their guns below the waist. And YES, this really is a shoot first ask questions last, they are legal gang members in uniforms. May GOD BE WITH OUR YOUNG MEN OF TODAY!!

The police don't have to wait for the criminals to shoot at them. If they make threatening moves or attempt to raise a weapon, game on. Since these 3 rocket scientists decided not to follow police orders to drop their weapons, they chose their fate.

"also help the police cope with the after effects of murder"

Murder? How about we stick with calling it shooting deaths. To infer the officers murdered these 'boys' leads no credence to the remainder of your rant. Regardless of the myriad of excuses you've listed negating their behavior, the fact of the matter remains they held innocent people up and robbed them at gunpoint. Maybe in your world that's an acceptable solution to being treated unfairly, but, not in ours.

And all of this time, here I was thinking that if three men got together and made a conscious decision to commit armed robbery it was their own fault.

Little did I know that it was actually everyone else's fault.

These low life thugs have been given a taste of their own medicine. Up standing, nice, boys some here have said. What a joke!!! If I was to point a gun at restaurant employees, herd them into a freezer, tell them they will die if they do not give what I want, I must be a great guy!!! You people here supporting them are sick!!! Try to rob me and see what happens. That is all.

they look like ducks, speak like ducks, and act like ducks, someone please explain to me why they are not ducks. And don't even try to tell me they were good ducks who just landed in the wrong pond.

That quacked me up.

Bottom line it is a tragedy that 2 young men lost there lives. I am so proud of our Law Enforcement agencies for doing what they do everyday. I do pray for the 2 boys families who were shot but i also pray for the police officers involved that they find peace and still know YOU DID YOUR JOB!!!! Never waiver from that belief brothers because the minute you do. 2 boys like the ones who obviously had intentions of putting you in your grave. you did a good thing and it is sad but maybe the next criminal will think twice before trying to kill heros!!!!!!!!

HOW CRUEL CAN YOU PEOPLE BE! TWO MEN LOST THEIR LIVES THAT NIGHT AND YOU ACT LIKE THE LOSS OF LIFE MEANS NOTHING. RONALD WAS A AMAZING YOUNG MAN THAT HAD TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN. HE WAS INTELLIGENT AND BRIGHT MINDED. HE ALWAYS MADE PEOPLE LAUGH AND HAD A GOOD SPIRIT ABOUT HIM. TEVIN WAS AMAZING AT MAKING PEOPLE SMILE AND LAUGH AND HAD A GOOD LIFE AHEAD OF HIM. HE WAS EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT AND LOVED HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS.YOU IGNORANT A******S!, HOW THE HELL CAN YOU JUDGE THESE MEN ON ONE INCIDENT THAT YOU DONT EVEN KNOW THE ENTIRE STORY ABOUT.! YOU DONT KNOW THESE MEN AND NOW YOU NEVER WILL! AND FOR YOU TO JUDGE SO HARSHLY ON THESE MEN THAT MAD A MISTAKE ISNT RIGHT! YOU ALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED BECAUSE YOU ALL SOUND EXTREMELY IGNORANT! RIP RONALD AND TEVIN! MAY YALL REST IN PEACE AND KNOW THAT YOU HAVE A AMAZING SUPPORT GROUP OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS. YOULL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN .

If these boys were so amazing and such upstanding citizens, fathers, scholars, athletes, etc then why were they robbing innocent people?

{sarcasm on] They were great guys. I only wish I could have been friends with such outstanding productive members of society. What a great loss for Wilmington. {/sarcasm off}

I sincerely feel for the family of these two boys but when people like you get on here and try to convince people that they were saints is totally ridiculous. If Ronald and Tevin were so " INTELLIGENT AND BRIGHT MINDED" they would have made a better choice. This wasn't a spur of the moment thing. They had it planned out, not to well as we can see from the results so they knew what they were doing. I knew Tevin and agree that he was a nice seeming guy and hate that his life came to an abrupt end at such a young age but they did it to themselves so please quit blaming everyone else for their demise.

Intelligent and Bright minded. You must be talking about someone other than the ones that tried to rob Pizza Hut. Somebody failed somewhere with those thugs. It starts at home. Family and friends included. Two less to feed and cloth for 10 to 15 years.Hats off to the Law Enforcement involved.

I'll just copy and paste my reply to another "fan" of the "good boys":
Let's see how wrong I can show you you are tatiana jones: IF this were one of MY four sons you can bet your A** I'd be the FIRST one talking about what morons they were. Are you KIDDING ME???? No hypocrisy here.
I really wonder how the children who were fathered by one of the above mentioned "good boys" will be dealt with? Will they be told what a "great" man their daddy was? Will they grow up with that lie? Will they be taught to arm yourself with a gun and rob a restaurant is a "silly mistake"? For their sake, I hope not. I sincerely hope they are allowed to grow up in REALITY and not in the "poor me" syndrome that OBVIOUSLY permeates through the families now.
Wake up, woman, call it what it is.
Three idiots with out a brain cell between them.
Seriously, that Pizza Hut has been hit twice (not including your "good boys" botched crime) in the last month. How DUMB do you have to be to try to rob it AGAIN???
I have your answer: as dumb as the criminals who ended up paying in the worst way.
And, for future reference, a TRAGEDY isn't three guys robbing anything or anyone at gun point - that, ma'am, is a crime.

now deceased, was 18 and had graduated high school in June; and was already the Father of 2. And his friend thought he had a promising future.

If that is perceived to be a promising future, how do they define dismal future?

And the one who survived, has to post a $1.5 million bond in order to be released. Guess they'll know where to look for him when it is time for his other court appearances.

Do you know who gets our respect? The WPD and the hardworking individuals who had guns pointed at them while 3 criminals stole from them, that's who. Their families should be ashamed of them and the path they chose and apologetic to the innocent victims who were involved. Instead, they are demanding respect for them as if they did no wrong? Had they been three upstanding individuals who died senselessly, our community would be on their side, but they chose to be armed criminals. #sorrynotsorry

Sorry for the loss of life. Sorry that these kids felt they needed to do such a thing. Sorry the LEO have to deal with what they had to do for the rest of their lives.

Nobody does anything without thinking they need to.

"boom".