Smith then lunged toward a semi-automatic weapon with a laser scope that was visible to Jones and easily accessible between the front seats.
CLEVELAND -- After a review of the evidence, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty concluded that Cleveland Police Patrolman Roger Jones acted lawfully when he shot and killed Kenneth Smith on March 10, 2012.
Jones was off-duty at 2:50 a.m. when a shootout began outside of a bar on Bolivar Avenue.
In a letter to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, McGinty wrote, "Cleveland Police Officer Roger Jones, although off duty, correctly and heroically took action to protect the safety of the citizens of Cleveland. Officer Jones did what a police officer is trained and expected to do when faced with dangerous criminals firing weapons. He fulfilled his duty."
Williams acknowledged the finding and said an administrative review will now be conducted by the Division of Police Internal Affairs Unit and presented to Williams. Williams said Jones is currently on restricted duty status.
The officer saw Devonta Hill fire a weapon wildly into a crowd of bystanders in the parking lot just off of East Ninth Street. Officer Jones called for backup and saw Hill, Smith and another man get into an automobile and begin to drive away.
Because Hill's car was slowed by a traffic jam caused by panicked people leaving the bar, Jones was able to pursue on foot and to radio the vehicle's escape route to other police.
Responding police cars boxed in Hill's car at the intersection of East Ninth and Prospect Avenue.
When zone car officers ordered the occupants to exit the car, Hill and the third man complied.
Smith did not.
Jones pulled him out of the car, but Smith broke free. Smith then lunged toward a semi-automatic weapon with a laser scope that was visible to Jones and easily accessible between the front seats.
Jones fired one shot to protect himself and other officers on the scene.
Hill has been charged with the murder of Smith and felonious assault.