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

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Submitted: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 3:39am
Updated: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 3:25pm

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.”

Leave a Reply

178 Comments on "Two suspects dead, one jailed after restaurant robbery leads to police shooting"

Charles Walters
2015 years 8 months ago

I was going to say the same thing, because everytime one of these low life thugs gets popped all their idiot friends and family come out blaming everyone but them for the trouble they caused. Wilmington has become like the wild west, and it is high time people got pissed off, and take back this city. Way to go WPD and NHCSO for making sure at least 2 of them never cause trouble again.

2015 years 8 months ago

First, if you’re tired of reading the comments that are posted to this story, stop reading them. It really is THAT simple.

Second, they did not simply make a “bad choice”. A bad choice is speeding. A bad choice is skinnydipping in January at the north pole. What these idiots did was CRIMINAL. They committed FELONIES – yes, PLURAL, as in more than one felony. Committing multiple felony crimes at once goes WAY beyond being just a “bad choice”.

Third, I could have partially accepted your conclusion that they were just good, sweet boys who made bad choices up until the moment they drew weapons and aimed them at police officers. You see, committing a crime is one thing. But compounding that crime by threatening to kill law enforcement officers – the ones who our society demands keep us all safe – means they are willing to kill ANYONE. Willing to kill anyone just to pick up a few dollars absolutely makes someone a bad person.

Fourth, we all have the right to post about this event in this forum, and we actually do have the right – and the obligation – to judge these idiots and their actions. It’s the basis on which our legal system relies. People who commit crimes will have to appear in court and be judged by a group of their peers. Because anyone who registers to vote can be called to serve on jury duty, those of us that do have the right and the obligation to judge the actions of criminals.

Fifth, kidnapping…armed robbery…resisting public officers…NO, these are NOT the actions of “great kids”. They had every opportunity in the world to make different choices, and they consistently rebuked the opportunities.

My heart goes out to the families who lost 2 members last Friday night. But my heart is even more thankful that criminal thugs who threatened the very fabric of our society did NOT succeed in their purely evil goals and that no innocent lives were lost that night.

2015 years 8 months ago

Dear Na Na:

I’m pretty sure committing arm robbery and drawing weapons on police officers classifies them as criminals. Good people don’t do that. And, had your ‘good people’ not made a conscious decision to rob an establishment by force, or, if they had heeded the police officers’ commands, they, too, would be going home to their families, even if it was in, say, 15-20 years. It’s pretty irresponsible of you for blaming the officers who were in the course and scope of their jobs.

2015 years 8 months ago

Now it is time for the families to come forward and tell us how good the boys are and why they can’t understand the police having to shoot them.

In life, we make good choices and we make bad choices – there are consequences to all of them. These good ole boys made the wrong choice.

To the families – I am sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one is never easy – been there – but you are now facing the pain that they caused by their actions. I am just glad for the employees – that their families didn’t have to be notified that they had been shot and killed by someone who chose to steal instead of getting a job.

Black American dad
2015 years 8 months ago

They didn’t shot or kill any employees because they were not that kind of criminal. I think these guys were looking for a fast buck and was not familar with what was going on in the area. I know that people think you are a thug if you make 1 mistake in life. Look at Michael Vick. He was labeled a thug for fighting dogs. I wish y’all guys really had the opportunity to live in the hood and meet a real Thug. They don’t give a damn about nothing and you won’t have many people saying things about them Good b/c they make things bad in the hood. I think that they knew the police procedure and was hoping that they went by the guide lines. I don’t think that they wanted to hurt anyone or loose their life while robbing a Pizza Hut. I also think that they thought it out before they went to do it also and figured the worst that could happen was that they got to jail.