Parents of vet shot by police after calling VA hotline speaking out

Ronald Smith seen in a photo from when he was in the Army (courtesy Smith family)
Ronald Smith seen in a photo from when he was in the Army (courtesy Smith family)

The parents of an Army vet, shot dead by deputies this week, are speaking out about the way their son was killed.

The Pickaway County Desert Storm veteran was shot Tuesday inside his small community of Five Points, Ohio. During an interview with ABC6, Ronald Smith’s father said the deputies came to the home treating it like an active shooter situation in a crowded, public place—but that wasn’t necessary.

“He wasn’t running. He wasn’t charging at anybody. He wasn’t buried in there shooting at anybody. He was standing in his front yard,” Mr. Smith said.

Smith’s parents say they don’t buy statements from the sheriff’s office that the deputies had to shoot and kill their son to “protect his family and community.”

Smith’s mother says they should have sent counselors to the home, not deputies. Her son suffered from PTSD and was on disability because of chronic back problems and headaches that he started having after leaving the Army.

He was apparently contemplating taking his own life, according to the VA suicide prevention hotline that contacted the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith was a father of two, who had physical and mental health issues, but family members say they never saw this coming.

“He was only 45 years old and had a lot left to give the world…he loved his family and community,” Ron’s mother said.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine the exact cause of death and if any drugs were in his system at the time of the shooting.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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