The Austin Chronicle

UPDATED: Man Injured in Austin Police Shooting

By Jordan Smith, March 21, 2014, 10:45am, Newsdesk

The 23-year-old man shot Tuesday by a veteran Austin Police Department sergeant has been released from the hospital – and released from police custody, according to APD.

According to an updated release from APD, Jawhari Dandre Smith was shot by 17-year police veteran Sgt. Gregg White in the shoulder and face on Tuesday afternoon after White said Smith failed to comply with an order to drop a weapon he was holding.

White responded to a domestic disturbance "with violence" call at the Red Oak Apartments just before 12:30pm on Tuesday. When he approached the area of the complex where the disturbance was allegedly taking place he saw Smith and his girlfriend – reportedly, 19-year-old Rickia Hunt – arguing. Police say White saw a Smith holding a pistol that he then hid behind his back. Smith reportedly yelled to White that it was only a BB gun. White ordered Smith to drop the weapon, but Smith allegedly refused. "Fearing for his life," police said, White shot Smith.

Smith was taken to UMC Brackenridge and has been released, police said Thursday evening. Although originally arrested for aggravated assault, Smith was released from police custody on Wednesday, APD said, "pending further investigation."

Notably, police also said Thursday that the weapon Smith was holding was indeed a BB gun – a Umarex model XBG pellet/BB pistol.

EARLIER: A man involved in a domestic disturbance with his girlfriend at an apartment complex in Northeast Austin was shot by an Austin Police sergeant just before 12:30 pm today after he failed to drop a weapon he tried to hide behind his back, APD Chief Art Acevedo told reporters at the scene.

The man, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge by EMS, and is being treated for his injuries. He is expected to survive, Acevedo said.

Acevedo said police received a call about a male adult "involved in disturbance with his girlfriend" at 12:24 pm. A sergeant with 17 years on the force was the first to respond to the call, in the 6300 block of Berkman Drive at the Red Oak Apartments. The sergeant made his way through the complex to the site of the incident and saw a man holding a semi-automatic pistol that the man then put behind his back. The man yelled out that the weapon was just a BB gun, but failed to comply with the sergeant's repeated orders that he drop the weapon. The officer then fired at the man. "The sergeant ordered the suspect several times to drop the weapon, but the suspect didn't comply," Acevedo said.

The girlfriend was not wounded and is speaking with police, Acevedo said. The sergeant, whose name also has not yet been released, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

Acevedo said there is "a history" of police calls to this location, and that the department will be assessing in both criminal and administrative investigations only whether the use of deadly force arising from today's call was warranted.

There is no video of the incident, he said, because the sergeant's car was parked away from where the incident took place, but he said there is "very clear audio" of what occurred. It was "all captured on audio," he said.

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