By Marty Fiolka | May 20, 2020 10:55 AM ET
The fatal shooting involving B.J. Baldwin in Las Vegas last month was a “clear case of self-defense”, according to Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
According to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Baldwin and his girlfriend Tori Nonaka were sitting in their vehicle in the parking lot of a restaurant at around 2:00am on April 22 when two men approached them. An altercation broke out, and 18 rounds of gunfire were exchanged. Josef Smith, 43, was killed, and Smith’s brother Kevin, aged 40, ran from the scene and was later arrested. Neither Baldwin, who is trained in firearm protection and had a concealed weapon permit, nor Nonaka were injured.
A police report cited in the Review-Journal stated that the elder of the Smith brothers had become agitated after an unsuccessful attempt to purchase a gun from a store in the complex earlier in the day. The brothers noticed Baldwin and Nonaka in their vehicle when they returned to the area later. Kevin Smith later told police that his brother had instigated the shootout, and that Baldwin had acted in self-defense and should not be charged.
Smith faces charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.
Baldwin is a two-time winner of the Baja 1000 and drives the Baldwin Motorsports No.97 Monster Energy/Toyo Tire Toyota Trophy Truck in major desert-racing events.