Two Eaton County sheriff's deputies have been cleared in a deadly shooting that happened last November. The Ingham County Prosecutor's Office reviewed a State Police report of the incident. Prosecutor Carol Siemon released her decision not to file criminal charges on Tuesday.
The shooting happened in Charlotte on November 28, 2017. The deputies went to the home of Robert Smith to execute a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms. Smith had been arrested by DNR officers two days earlier for drunk driving. Smith was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.
Smith left his home before the deputies could search it. Smith refused to stop when they tried to pull him over and eventually turned his pick-up to face the deputies. The prosecutor says body-camera footage shows Smith ignored their commands and told the deputies to shoot him before driving his truck towards them. He crashed into a patrol car, ramming it into an unmarked police car. One of the deputies was knocked to the ground and injured. The deputies fired a total of 16 shots at Smith while he drove towards them. One bullet hit Smith in the head and killed him.
The State Police report says the 64-year-old had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19% which is more than twice the legal limit. He also had marijuana and a prescription anti-depressant in his system.
Prosecutor Siemon says the body-camera footage clearly shows the deputies were under assault, used reasonable force and had not other reasonable way to stop Smith.