Almost eight months ago, the town of Shalimar was rocked by an unprovoked act of violence in broad daylight.
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy Bill Myers was serving a domestic violence injunction on Joel Dixon Smith at a local attorney’s office. The injunction required Smith to give up his guns.
As the two men walked out of the office to retrieve the weapons from Smith’s truck, Myers in front, Smith pulled out a .40 caliber handgun and fired twice hitting Myers in the back and in the head. Smith would fire two more rounds.
After the shooting, Smith drove to his hotel in Niceville and barricaded himself inside his room. The hotel was quickly surrounded by law enforcement and they tried to talk him out. During the next hour and a half, Smith made numerous phone calls to relatives and friends making statements like “I am going to kill myself.”, “I’m not going to jail,”. One of his last statements, “I’m not going to kill myself. I’m going to force the officers to kill me.”
Last September, Sheriff Larry Ashley told News Five what happened when tear gas was used to flush Smith from the hotel room. “Within minutes, the subject exited the room brandishing a handgun and was engaged by our SRT members. The subject was shot multiple times.”
The gun Smith pointed at officers was the same one he used to shoot deputy Myers.
The final report concludes the actions and choices of Joel Smith led to his death. The officers were justified in their use of deadly force and no criminal charges should be filed.