TACOMA — A man fatally shot Saturday in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood apparently was trying to defuse an argument between the gunman and a teenager, according to court documents.
Robert L. Jackson Jr., 28, got shot in the face for his trouble and died Sunday.
Pierce County prosecutors on Monday charged the alleged gunman, 29-year-old Tony L. Smith, with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf. Court Commissioner Patrick Oishi ordered Smith, who has previous criminal convictions, jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.
According to court documents, Jackson, Smith and another man were standing together near a convenience store at South 19th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way about 4:20 p.m. when a 16-year-old boy walked up.
The boy and Smith argued about something before walking off in different directions.
A short time later, Jackson and the other man were walking in the 1900 block of South M Street when Smith approached them, the records state. The teen, who was across the street, started walking toward the group, and he and Smith resumed their argument.
Witnesses told police Jackson then intervened, telling Smith the teen was “cool.”
“Smith then drew a handgun and shot Jackson in the head,” the documents state.
Smith and Jackson did not know each other.
Police arrested Smith at a nearby residence. He told them he shot Jackson because he felt threatened, according to court records.
Other witnesses reported that Smith told them he’d killed somebody and gave them a gun, which they dumped into Commencement Bay, the records state. Police later recovered the weapon.