Would-be victim slammed armed man to the ground, killing him, Lubbock Police said

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LUBBOCK, Texas — A confrontation during a car burglary led to a man’s death, Lubbock Police said on Friday. The incident happened on September 24, roughly 6:45 a.m., at the Ashmore Inn, 4019 South Loop 289. Police were notified by University Medical Center on Thursday that John Smiley, 35, died.

Police said Jonathan Lee, 37, found Smiley inside Lee’s vehicle and confronted him.

A police news release said, “Lee saw Smiley reach for his shorts, which he believed was to reach for a weapon. Lee then threw Smiley to the ground.”

A police report said Lee hit Smiley at least twice after throwing him to the ground. Lee then walked away from Smiley, the police report said.

When police arrived, Smiley was still on the ground. An officer “took the … knife from [Smiley’s] hand,” the report said.

The police report said EMS loaded Smiley onto a gurney and discovered a “white chalky substance in a plastic baggie” underneath Smiley.

The following is a press release from the Lubbock Police Department:

The Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit is investigating a September vehicle burglary case, following the Oct. 7 death of a subject involved in the case.

On September 24, LPD officers responded to a civil disturbance at the Ashmore Inn, located at 4019 S. Loop 289. Upon arrival, officers located 35-year-old John Smiley injured in the parking lot.

The initial investigation revealed 37-year-old Jonathan Lee found Smiley inside Lee’s vehicle and confronted him.

During the altercation, Lee saw Smiley reach for his shorts, which he believed was to reach for a weapon. Lee then threw Smiley to the ground.

Smiley sustained serious injuries and was transported by ambulance to University Medical Center. The Lubbock Police Department was notified at 7 a.m. Oct. 7 that Smiley died.

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