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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The lone surviving suspect from last fall’s Pizza Hut robbery in Wilmington, which ended with police shooting the suspects, has pleaded guilty.

Jalani Smith admitted this morning to four counts of common law robbery and two counts of kidnapping.

Police say Smith, Ronald Roland and Tevin Robinson robbed the Pizza Hut on S. 17th Street the night of Oct. 25. Police say they watched as the men inside brandished weapons and ordered employees around the building.

When they exited, officers were waiting. Investigators say when the suspects refused to follow orders and ran toward officers, the officers opened fire. Roland and Robinson died. Smith was injured.

According to our partner at the StarNews, testing later determined Roland was armed with a flare gun and Smith had a BB gun, said District Attorney Ben David.


Comment on this Story

  • Erlkoenig

    If you had comprehension skills you’d know I wasn’t referring to the criminals mentioned in the story.

    And let’s face it,the benefit here is that we all don’t have to hear about the dead criminals’ civil rights for the next 2 years.

  • Kimber

    You know what your exactly right. I’m sure no one that is posting these ignorant, racist insenstive comments has ever committed a crime in their life.
    BACK TO REALITY In all seriousness yes his family does have bigger things to worry about than these stupid post but who wants to see comments stating that their child should’ve been killed too. People really need to grow up.

  • notrust

    These replies sound like knee jerk reactions, looks like we hit a nerve…. There is absolutely no excuse for this not being on video…i believe a video exist somewhere…and i bet that video does not look good…the last thing i want to do is defend a criminal….but…the way this was handled is creepy….what if they did surrender?

  • Kimber

    None of the guys were convicted felons, sorry to disappoint you. Jalani was a ROTC grad and had finished his freshman year in college.

  • Erlkoenig

    I wonder how many of these “just as ignorant” people are convicted felons.

    I think his parents have bigger issues than these posters.

  • Kimber

    To the people saying they wish this young man was dead. You’re just as ignorant as a person that you’re trying to throw stones at….
    I hope and pray that his parents are not reading this hateful garbage. They are both great people. Unfortunately their son committed a crime in this not paying the price and he apologized for it. He wasn’t at the he just did something very stupid.

  • Shiniqua Locke

    Jalani we love you and you will be home soon!!! Your Family and Friends are here for you all the way through… Hold your head held high and think of it as one day closer to being back home. WE LOVE YOU MAN!!!

  • jj

    I really love people like you. You have no clue to what police officers go through. I am sure all these guys woke up that morning and said ” I think I will kill someone tonight”. It is easy to second guess what has happen in the past. How about you taking BLET course and join a PD and change the world.

    You would last a week.

  • Guest2020

    You need to ask those people in Pizza Hut, if this was a petty crime. Robbery at gunpoint and being held at gunpoint is not a petty crime.

    There had been a lot of robberies in the area at that time. The officers were keeping a close eye on things and were in the vicinity. That is why they were able to get there quickly.

    All investigations in this case show that the officers were justified in the shooting. The guilty plea is an indication that this was justified. It was not an execution.

    Had I been a customer at the Pizza Hut, I would understand the police firing on the individuals who failed to comply. I would understand the need for the police to defend themselves. I wouldn’t want the officers to take a bullet without defending themselves.

    The cameras that are on police cars are usually activated when the blue lights are turned on. Since they didn’t want the thugs aware that they were in the parking lot, they didn’t have their lights on. Had the lights been on, then we would probably be discussing a hostage situation.

  • guestrav667

    I do not feel comfortable about the way the police handled this, they were tipped off before this happened and I have wondered if this was a planned execution. Scary as the robbers behavior appears this was really petty crime, a few hundred dollars, right? I think the police put everyone life in danger spraying bullets around a public place. Since the police knew a head time, this could have been handled differently. Had I been a customer at pizza hut that night, I would not want to be that close to police gunning people down. The police were tipped off, they could have planned this out much better. I think the only reason one of the robbers survived was because he was too far back to be killed or I think they would have killed him too. I do not think these guys were give a chance surrender, I wonder if the police used the tip they received about this to plan executions rather then to resolve this peacefully. I would be afraid to tip the police off if I thought they would misuse this information to stage an execution under the the pretense of protecting people. For me it comes down to, do I believe the police gave these guys a chance to surrender, I do not believe they were given that chance. I do not trust the police. This should have been on camera, the fact that this is not on camera makes me very suspicious as to what really took place. All police should have cameras on them, to protect the public as well as them.

  • Tim

    Want to solve your crime problem in Wilmington? Tell the Democrats to stop building massive public housing projects for their welfare-dependent voters. And start tearing down the ones you have now. Give Wilmington back to decent, hardworking, taxpaying citizens who care about their city!

  • guesty

    …and spray, some of these thugs have built up a resistance to bullets.

  • Heimie Schmelter

    This worm should be getting life in prison with out the possibility of parole. 12-15 years will put this criminal back into society in 6 years or less and he’ll be right back at it again.

    I have no idea why our judges and DA’s allow such weak sentencing for career criminals like this. Remember this at the next election!

  • Abu Al Salam

    Don’t these guys (robbers thugs etc) know they are going to get caught.
    I don’t think these three could outsmart the K9, much less the Police.
    17 street is not an out of the way place. And to make it that much more ridiculous, someone sent in a tip.

    Well 2 paid the ultimate price, and the third should get life in prison since his two buddies died due to the robbery.

    For all the snoop dogs and gangsta wannabes, you’re not that bright. give it up before they close the bag on you.

  • Guest2020

    “You would last a week.”

    I think you give guestrav667 too much credit.

  • Mrs.B

    This headline is tearing at my nerves. At first, it annoyed me because it makes the criminal sound like a victim. I have reread it about 5 times throughout the day and it kicked in, I remembered Marcus Luttrell as a “Lone Survivor”. This guy is anything but a survivor. He is a prisoner of his own making and rightfully so. I assume he is extremely grateful at this point for his terms verses the alternative. I appreciate this news source, but damn if I don’t get heated over the little things, like editing and bias.

  • trash

    A .50 cent bullet would have saved the taxpayers thousands of dollars. Now we will have to take care of this “thug” at a cost of $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

  • xyz123

    Yeah, your stupidity. There’s no point even trying to address your moronic comments. Can’t fix stupid.

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