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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say the suspects involved in Friday night’s shooting outside a restaurant ran at officers but did not fire shots.

Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said this afternoon information WPD gathered through investigations of recent restaurant robberies, including through collaboration with Leland Police, led officers to keep an eye on the Pizza Hut on S. 17th. St. Friday night.

“As the officers arrived they observed what they believed to be an armed robbery in progress,” Evangelous read from a prepared statement. “Officers saw guns being used during the robbery. When the suspects left the building officers challenged the suspects and gave them several commands to surrender. The suspects refused to comply with the officers commands and ran towards our officers. The suspects were then fired upon by the officers.”

Two of the men, Tevin Robinson and Ronald Roland, died in the shooting. A third, Jalani Smith was injured and later charged in connection to the robbery. Evangelous said the investigation in the days since proved the suspects did not fire at officers, but investigators did take two weapons from the suspects after the incident.

Evangelous says six officers are on administrative leave as WPD conducts and internal review of the incident and while SBI investigates as well. He said the names of the officers will be released when the review is done.

“No one wins when lives are lost,” Evangelous said. “This recent incident affects everyone and I am asking for the community’s support as we move through this.”

Comment on this Story

  • Nick

    These little punks went to rob a Pizza Hut. They put guns in the faces of poor people working at a restaurant. Then they couldn’t get on the ground when the cops told them to. They had guns, probably pistols, which none of them could have bought legally. You have to be 21 to buy a pistol, so they probably stole them. This town is being destroyed by gangs and is filled with young punks listening to rap music and doing drugs. If these boys were White the same outcome would have happened, they would be dead and filled with bullet holes. This is not a race issue. This is a laziness issue. These idiots think that robbing and pillaging is easier than working a real job. The music they all listen to says robbing people and shooting people is just fine. The families should have taught these boys to get a real job and not stick deadly weapons in peoples faces and take their money. These boys chose their fate and that fate was being shot to death by the cops. White or black the cops don’t kill people at work or school, they kill armed robbers and murderers. WPD keep it up!!!! Shoot some more please!!! I am a proud gun owner, so please come and break into my house, let me get my own news slot and make famous!!!!

  • CoastalJade

    They ran at the Police Officers. That put them in danger.
    They had no idea if they were armed and took no chances.
    Are you so dense you don’t get that?
    Their jobs are unpredictable and dangerous.

    Why are you sticking up for criminals? Criminals who just robbed a place?

  • citizenx

    I hear everyday of good police departments taking suspects who did far worse and more notorious crimes safely into custody. Is the WPD simply less competent than other departments at resolving violent situations, or are they just a self appointed group of executioners running around shooting people who aren’t shooting back?

  • Fant C

    What happened to the dash cam. You know the cop cars are equipped with dash cams. That would show a great deal of what actually happened as the boys came out. The police probably convieniently had their squad cars pointing away from the action. Oh well…

  • anne

    I don’t care if they were using water guns, the fact is they robbed the place with a weapon. Stupidity reigns!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The cops have a moment to react. You state that you know 2 of the 2. Did you know that they are thiefs? Did you know that they were robbing people?

    It is time to stop making excuses for those who think it is okay to steal other people’s money and things. Does it justify being shot? Maybe not – but they set in motion the circumstances – and unfortunately they had to pay for it.

  • Rallo

    First of all I do not believe anything that is posted on this site or stated by the police. I don’t believe anything 100 percent actually.Alot of you are plagued by daunting mistakes you have made in your past.You all try to show how civilized yall “THINK” you are but call other people names. You don’t know any truths except that those boys robbed a pizza hut with bb guns. The rest of the story only God knows. So many people want to play God in these situations and predicaments. Yes this is America were having unique opinions and beliefs is excepted but come on! Love and compassion are as good as gold and will set you free. I know 2 of the 3 boys. They would not run at the police after doing something like this. Believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear. Have a blessed day good people

  • lisa smith

    Hi, I wasn’t there but my godson(Tevin Robinson) wasn’t the kind of kid. I mean kid 20 years old he didn’t want for everything in the end you all will see the true story.And, he’s not the first person to be killed by these cops. Tell, me why did the cops kill the man that was in the tree.

  • Guesttoo

    You may want to back your timeline up a little. Consider this; the employees would be “alive and well” and so would the two men IF THEY HADN’T DECIDED TO USE GUNS, ROB A BUSINESS AND THEN RUN WHEN TOLD NOT TO.


  • guest 111

    You are truly a man of intelligence and common sense. You are not a traitor you are logical in your thinking. Maybe they can’t think. Don’t worry about it. They could call you worse. You have to live with yourself and making your own decisions based on good judgement.

  • Somebody

    I’m glad you are doing something to help the community. Thank God we have citizens like you to comment on stories such as these. God bless you.

  • Vog46

    My post(s) have been replaced by something more ridiculous?

    I have to try harder………:-)


  • objective

    Look, Im black and come from a poor socio-economic background. I know am doing something with my life. I refuse to let others tell me how to think. These officers were indeed justified in their shooting. A objective look at the facts will tell you that. If I tell my black friends this, they will call me a traitor. Why? Because I’m objective?

  • guestnow

    This story doesn’t right, why would 3 men run at the police who i am sure they had their guns drawn when they arrived on scene, i believe they tried to run an wass shot who just run at a armed person when u are armed too. I wouldl love to hear the suspect side and know where exactly where they shot at i bet it was in the back somewhere

  • trash

    1.They went to rob a business with guns.
    2. They were told to put down their weapons and did not comply.
    3. They ran/walked in the direction of the officers with their weapons in hand still.
    Stupid for not running the other direction.
    4. If you come at me with a gun in your hand and will not put it down, then I will put you on the ground and let your body feed the worms. Period….
    When it comes to me going home at night or you. I will go home to my family.
    These “Thugs” should have been home with their families if they were raised right and none of this would even come up.
    So what happened to these guys is what they deserved.

  • Drunk

    I believe “yous wass” spelling some words wrong. Maybe you were drunk when writing the comment. The officer that was drunk and fired was off duty!! And when the whole story comes out about the shooting you will understand why two guys were killed and one didnt die! I’m sure the one who is still alive is very thankful to still be walking “gods green earth!” Hopefully he will learn from his mistakes and one day be a productive member of society. Odds are against him.

  • Guest-o-matic

    …before you burn your lips and fingers so that they resemble your fried brain!

    I have to congratulate you by telling you that you have single-handedly accomplished the phenomenal task of providing THE most rediculous and ignorant post that I’ve EVER read on this site!

  • richard manning

    at the end of the day I feel safer that these guys are dead. glad it happened to them instead of one of their victims. I hope their reward was worth the risk. maybe the next good child will think twice before pulling a gun on someone.

  • guest654654654

    Good on WPD. These thugs need to know that they will not be tolerated. Live by the gun, die by the gun. They could probably take out two a night for a month and we’d be good for a couple of decades.

    Wilmington is like the Wild West, only worse. We need law enforcement that is willing to do what needs to be done. Tough times call for tough men/women. And a community that backs them up.

    We need some Boondock Saints.

    Or maybe an “Omar”, whistling “The Farmer in the Dell”.

  • Mrs.B

    I appreciate what you do for us. If I was the one being held in a walk-in cooler or any other compromising situation, I would be more than happy that you neutralized the offenders in what ever way necessary. When a law enforcement says stop, you need to do that, armed or not. The folks saying this is excessive obviously do not have daughters or wives leaving restaurants late nights. Being at gun-point is not something you get over once the threat is gone. I am not a bit disappointed that these boys are dead, I hope it serves the other thugs as a notice. WPD, NHCSD, keep up the look outs and keep us safe, service industry thanks you and enjoys feeding the community their fast food and snacks.

  • westla

    I bet now they know what stop or I’ll shoot means !!

  • Rachel McMillian

    When this story first surfaced WPD said that there was had a shootout with these young men which was false, just sit and think about it what else is WPD trying to cover up. Those employees are well and alive, but its sad that 2 men had to die because WPD was trigger happy. Jail time would have suited these young men well but Your Heroic POLICE OFFICERS over did there job.

  • Commonsense9090

    Common Sense tells you that three people who had just committed a crome leaving the scene of a crime DID NOT run towards officers standing there with their guns drawn at them… Who would do that? WPD needs to come up with a NEW story because that doesnt make sense at all… I am sure they were standing outside with their guns ready, so what crazy person would run at the police and dont shoot or anything… thats because they didnt run at the police at all.. These are the same police officers that had an entire prostitution ring and was lying for months. The same ones that ive seen clearly LIE on legal documents and on video…. Its not like WPD’s word can be taken like the bible or that they are so trustworthy… Yes don’t get me wrong they were WRONG for what they did.. and their mistake ultimately cost them their lives but that doesn’t make WPD justified for their crime either. A wrong is a wrong. The law doesn’t give WPD the right to be executioner and they can say whatever they like to the public and ya’ll will take it as its the gospel… WPD is VERY VERY CORRUPT… & Its not like they are going to say “Yes they were running away and we shot them down”… That’s the same thing as if one of your children, (which I am sure there are plenty of ya’ll, even if you don’t know it) are out doing drugs and someone kills them, are you going to say “well they deserved to be killed because of their life style or doing drugs”, No you are not! so stop being hypocrites and acting like your children don’t make mistakes because they do. I am an RN now but when I went to high school and some of my patients I have now are young white children with prestigious parents who are shooting up drugs and taking pills. MISTAKES ARE MISTAKES and NO ONE SIN IS GREATER THAN ANOTHER! I see it so much that I can almost guarantee that If I knew 20 of the commenters here at least 5 of them have drug abusing children. Would it be fair to say that ya’ll suck at parenting?? No, so don’t judge their parents. Oh and go ahead and blame it on the drug dealers… Thats like blaming the doctor for prescribing medicine to the person who chooses to abuse it.. Its the children’s fault and if they wouldn’t get it from them they would get it from someone else… People and their thought processes are completely screwed up and the hatred in this city is crazy.. Judging people is going to alot of people’s ticket to hell one day. Just like the kid that was killed in UNCW by police when he was only holding a controller.. Well I guess he “deserved” it because he had just beat someone and robbed him. So I guess people cant change huh? No one here hasn’t done things in their past that they aren’t proud of? I have! Not robbing people, but definitely making bad choices and mistakes that I’ve learned from… and now I am a successful wife with a career. and I am thankful that God blessed me with a forgiving heart and a mind not to be so judgmental and realize that everyone is equal and very very human I pray for those who lack those qualities.

  • Guesttoo

    This was such a sad, preventable situation. Simple facts are, the actions of these young men set in motion the chain of events that ultimately led to two of them being buried way too soon. THEY went to the pizza place – armed – and robbed the people that were there. No one forced them to do that. THEY had the chance to give up as they exited the building yet took a different path. THEY put the police officers in the position of having to decide, in a split second, whether to use lethal force or not.

    The officers didn’t see a student who was attending A&T, they didn’t see a Naval Reservist, they didn’t see a father of two…they didn’t have time. They saw an armed robbery in progress and acted upon it. We, as citizens, expect that of them. The officers didn’t start their shift thinking they would be forced to use their weapons.

    Now, sadly, two are dead and the officers that were there are left with the knowledge that they were involved – however justified – in their demise. All because of the actions of three young men.

  • Wilmington Observer

    You ask, “Who would do that” (running towards officers with their guns drawn)?

    It seems like the three that DID DO THAT were the three that had just robbed (with the use of a weapon) an establishment that had been robbed before, therefore putting it on the radar. Not only did they make THAT stupid decission, but they did it on the same night that area law enforcement agencies began a coordinated effort to take our streets back from people with little enough sence to actually walk into a closed restaurant, gun in hand, and take what did not belong to them.

    Our society no longer allows for the process of “Natural Selection”. If it did, perhaps these three woud not even be around to have been the ones WHO DID THAT.

    Wilmington Observer

  • antithug

    are emotionally OK and can return to work soon. This group reacted the way they needed to, and we need them back on the street if they are ready for it. Not behind a desk. They did their job, and did it well. If you were involved and they did not shoot, and/or there was a chase and they got away. The same people saying they were wrong, would be on here saying, “they should have shot them”

  • Sharon

    I commend the WPD for stopping these two individuals from terrorizing my hometown. If those that were killed had been my own blood, I would mourn their death, but at the same time be apologetic to those that were victims of their threat. Parents and family should mourn but also accept the fact that these individuals were not the same sons, cousins and brothers that you knew. They took it upon themselves to take what was not theirs.
    I am so scared of what Wilmington has turned into. It is a shame. The projects, the handouts, the minimization of what being dependent on a monthly check and free housing does to recipients is disturbing. When someone sees everyone around them living off the government, not working, having children while living in the projects (If you are living off my tax money, why do you think it is ok to keep having children you can not afford?)
    My husband retired from the Marines after 22 years, I have worked for 30 years. I am tired of paying for delinquents, continuously pregnant women, drug addicts that are dealing out of the projects, and anyone else that is leeching off of the government.
    For goodness sakes, these guys were thugs. Call them what they were! They were not running to hug these policemen. Set an example instead of trying to “hug and love” these criminals into productive citizens. I hope that Wilmington and surrounding law enforcement keep up this level of attentiveness and reaction to crime. It could have been one of your family members in the back of the Pizza Hut. People trying to make a living should not have to fear for their life!

  • originalwilmingtonian

    It sounds to me like you need new friends. No matter what your race is, your friends should always respect your views and opinions. They may not agree with them, but they should respect you. SMH

  • Wilmington Observer

    Do you mean the 2.5 years followed by 5 years probation that they would have gotten? I know I am eaggerating what would have been the end result in a courtroom, but there is no doubt that it would have been laughable. I’v said it before and I’ll say it now:

    Another example of why I would prefer my (tax) money be diverted to the building and staffing of more prisons instead of providing others housing, medical care, education, transportation, job training, daycare, cellphones, etc, etc.

    These two made the decission to not go (back?) to jail by running (armed) towards officers who had just witnessed them rob (via the use of a weapon) a business and the employees. They, also, have caused those officers a lifetime of problems that come with the taking of a (human?) life. It is not something that you forget or get over easily. I hope their agency head will provide them with the mental health counseling that they will, surely, need.

    To the officers involved: I hope you are NOT reading the comments of all of these, ungreatful, monday morning, quarterbacks, but if you are, thank you for doing the job that you do and having the guts to make that, dreadful, split second decission. Please take care of yourselves and don’t withdraw into yourself or a bottle. Believe me when I say, you will not find what you are looking for there.

    Wilmington Observer

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