Detective who shot suspect during standoff in March cleared by grand jury

Posted at 2:07 PM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 14:24:58-04

The detective who shot a suspect in his side during a standoff in early March was cleared by a grand jury on Wednesday. 

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office said Joseph Scaramucci shot the suspect during the standoff. The suspect was released from the hospital in early April and booked into jail. 

"We thought the shooting was justifiable since the day it happened," Sheriff Parnell McNamara said. "He [Scaramucci] did what he needed to do to protect himself, other law enforcement, and the citizens of McLennan County."

Deputies said the suspect, Robert Smith, was fighting when he was taken into the ambulance.

In a press conference, Chief Deputy Kilcrease said the 43-year-old will be facing many felony charges. 

Kilcrease said Smith was upset because Child Protective Services had just taken children from the home near Gerald Lane and Leroy Parkway, just outside the Leroy city limits.

He said Smith had several guns and even fired off a few rounds before they got there around noon.

When they arrived, Kilcrease said deputies first tried firing bean bags at Smith, but he then pulled out a revolver.

That's when the sniper shot Smith.

Kilcrease said it was the best ending possible.

"You have to be aware of crossfires, you have to be aware of how people are moving about the scene. You have to worry about extracting people from the area," Kilcrease said. "So it's pretty stressful on the officers to get out there and get all this done and I would say were probably a hair's breath away from being able to do this without using lethal force."

Kilcrease said Smith, from the Elm Mott area, has had a history with law enforcement.

On March 2, deputies responded to an incident in which Smith became verbally aggressive against his mother. While deputies were taking that report another individual approached the deputies and told them that he to was assaulted by Smith. The complaint said Smith swung an ax at the victim nearly striking him and getting into a physical altercation with him. Smith also damaged the victim's vehicle. 

Smith was also involved in an aggravated assault with his stepfather in early March.  

No one was in the house when the sniper shot him... and no one else got hurt.

Kilcrease said the sniper who shot Smith is on administrative leave as investigators look into the officer-involved shooting.

The scene is being processed by the Texas Rangers. 

Smith is facing three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one charge of aggravated assault on a public servant. Smith is being held on a $70,000 bond.

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