Shooting justified

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Mat Pellegrino

An investigation involving the officer-involved shooting of a Navarre man at a Niceville motel that took place last September has been deemed justifiable by the local state attorney’s office.
Back on Sept. 22, Joel Dixon Smith, who had an address in Navarre, shot and killed Okaloosa County Deputy William “Bill” Myers of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect was later shot and killed at a motel in Niceville by law enforcement, and an investigation was opened up by the local state attorney’s office to determine whether the shooting was justifiable.
Smith shot Deputy Myers after he served the suspect domestic injunction papers at Cotton and Gates Law Firm on Plew Avenue.
The papers that were served indicated that Smith would have to surrender any firearms he had in his possession to the OCSO.
The suspect told Myers he had handguns in his vehicle when he was served the papers.
As Myers was walking out of the front door of the law office, Smith allegedly stood up and said “my life is over” and shot the deputy 2 times with a handgun he had on him.
Smith then moved to the doorway and shot at the officer two more times.
The report indicated that Myers was struck by 2 of the 4 shots. One of the bullets hit Myer’s head.
Before being served the injunction, the suspect allegedly took a handgun from his home and threatened to kill law enforcement officers, according to the state attorney’s report.
After shooting and killing Myers, the suspect fled from the attorney’s office.
He later barricaded himself inside a room at the Comfort Inn and Suites at 148 John Sims Parkway in Niceville.
According to reports, the man refused to exit the motel room peacefully.
The suspect stated to police during the standoff that he was going to kill himself, according to the report from the state attorney’s office.
He also stated “My life is over” and “I’m not going to jail”.
According to the reports, the man begged the officers to kill him.
He was quoted as telling the officers, “I’m not going to kill myself. I’m going to force the officers to kill me.”
The suspect barricaded himself inside the room for over an hour. He later exited the room with the handgun still on him.
That’s when law enforcement officers opened fire on the suspect and shot him multiple times.
Smith was then transported to Ft. Walton Beach Medical Center, but perished from the gunshot wounds.
After the shooting, a state attorney’s investigation was opened up to determine whether the shooting of Smith was justifiable.
The 10-month long investigation later determined that it was.
Myers had served with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years.
According to OCSO, Myers retired as a deputy, but later came out of retirement in January 2015 to assist in civil matters.