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Mom: Robbery, shoot-out suspects ‘made bad decisions’

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The only survivor of a Friday night police shoot made his first court appearance this afternoon.

Jalani Smith, 20, made a video appearance as his family watched in the courtroom. He faces multiple armed robbery charges and four counts of first degree kidnapping.

Investigators say late Friday night Smith, Ronald Roland and Tevin Robinson robbed the Pizza Hut on S. 17th St. As they left, police were waiting. Investigators say when the trio failed to follows commands from officers, gunshots were exchanged. Roland and Robinson died. Smith was hurt.

Smith’s parents say Monday’s hearing was the first time they were able to see and speak to him since the shooting.

“Unfortunately they made bad decisions, and we can’t take that back,” Smith’s mother Regina Smith said. “But regardless, he is loved, and he is not a bad child.”

Smith is in jail under a $1.5 million bond.

Wilmington Police say Friday’s shoot-out does not clear the string of restaurant robberies in the area. They say they are still investigating with help from several agencies.


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