A man accused of opening fire near the service entrance of the Bass Pro Shops in Spanish Fort on Saturday has been booked into the Baldwin County Corrections Center.
Public records indicate Robert Smith Jr., 38, of Grove Hill, was booked shortly after noon on Monday in connection to a shooting incident on Saturday that Spanish Fort police have indicated could have ended with multiple casualties. According to a statement from the department, police responded to a call about an active shooter at the popular sporting goods store around 1 p.m.
Smith is accused of discharging at least 30 rounds into the building near a service entrance used for boat maintenance. According to police, Smith used an AR-15 “assault-style” rifle, a 9mm pistol and a 12 gauge shotgun. He was also reportedly wearing body armor at the time.
Responding officers encountered Smith as he was attempting to move to the main entrance of the store, but were able to take Smith into custody without opening fire after deploying a taser.
No one inside the store was injured, which police say is likely due to the quick actions of one employee who locked the service entrance doors and began moving customers and other employees to the opposite end of the building. One Spanish Fort officer was injured while detaining Smith and was treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Though it’s unclear exactly how he was injured, Smith was initially transported to the hospital and was not booked into jail for close to 48 hours. He’s currently facing charges for assault, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.
Authorities have not released any information about a possible motive for the shooting, though SFPD Chief John Barber did tell WKRG that Smith and a woman were returning home from Florida at the time. The woman, who has not been identified, was detained by police and released. She’s not been charged with any crime at this time.
Yesterday, SFPD released photos of several weapons, magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition seized from Smith after the incident. Three “AR-style” rifles, an “AR-style” pistol, a 9mm rifle, a shotgun, and two 9mm pistols were recovered, presumably from Smith’s vehicle.
Given the firepower Smith had, Barber has said his officers likely prevented a tragedy.
“The exemplary actions of these officers are truly represented by their bravery and dedication to the citizens of Spanish Fort,” Barber said in a statement. “By remaining focused and implementing recalled training, a potentially life-threatening situation was averted with the minimal amount of force possible. I could not be more proud of the responding officers that ran to gunfire to save lives.”
More information about this incident will be posted as it’s made available by Spanish Fort police.
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