Suspect was holding BB gun when he was shot by officer, police say

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Eddie Smith spent the morning removing his son’s belongings from Apartment 107 at the Red Oaks Apartments on Berkman Drive in Austin.

Jawhari Smith, 22, and his 19-year-old girlfriend Rickia Hunt were living there illegally, sources told KXAN. The apartment was vacated recently, and KXAN learned the boyfriend and girlfriend moved in without management’s approval March 13. The apartment complex did not realize the apartment was being lived in until Tuesday’s shooting.

Sgt. Gregg White responded to the complex Tuesday after someone called 911 about a domestic dispute involving Hunt and Smith. When White arrived, Smith was holding a gun and refused to drop it, Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

“The sergeant, in fear of his life, fired several rounds at the suspect,” Acevdeo added.

“He was hit in the jaw, and it went through,” Eddie Smith said. “He can still speak. He was also hit in the shoulder. He’s doing fairly good now.”

Pictured below is a Umarex model XBG pellet/BB pistol. This is not the actual weapon from the incident. (Austin Police)
Pictured below is a Umarex model XBG pellet/BB pistol. This is not the actual weapon from the incident. (Austin Police)

Smith says his son admitted he had a gun, but said it was a BB gun.

“I’m sure, because I believe my son. I know him,” he said.

Eddie Smith says the family has contacted an attorney and plans to file a lawsuit.

Police confirmed the weapon Smith was holding was a Umarex XBG pellet/BB pistol.

White said he saw Jawhari Smith put the pistol behind his back, then bring it back to his side.

Instead of dropping the gun after being ordered to, Smith raised both of his hands, then moved the pistol towards the White, police said.

White fired three times, hitting Smith once, according to the Austin Police Department.

Jawhari Smith was kicked out of another apartment in the same complex previously, KXAN learned. In that instance, sources say he was removed from the unit for not paying and for some sort of disturbance.

Police say they have been called out to arguments between Smith and Hunt several times.

Police have been called to the complex at least three times since November, sources say, and all of those calls involved Hunt. She is currently facing criminal trespass charges.

Smith is out of the hospital, but no charges have been filed yet.

White, who has been with the department since Nov. 21, 1997, is on paid administrative leave — per standard protocol. He was promoted to sergeant on Jan. 15, 2012.

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