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Shooting near Roselawn club leaves questions unanswered

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Posted at 11:12 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 10:04:59-04

CINCINNATI — According to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, Derek Smith was inside Brandy's Lounge the night of Oct. 8 when Lonnell Anderson jumped a fence, walked up behind Smith and shot him twice, execution-style, in the head.

Police said they don't believe the men knew one another. At the time of the shooting, Anderson was under indictment for having weapons under disability, meaning he was not allowed to have a gun because of previous crimes.

"Can't see how you can be allowed out even on a bond if you have such an extensive record," said Ashley Fletcher, a friend of Smith's. "And a lot of his charges were physical violence as well, so it's just sad to know that this could have been avoided."

Deters said in a statement that people shouldn't have to live in fear of coming upon a defendant who should have never been released from jail in the first place. Despite not being able to secure charges against Anderson for a hate crime, Deters said he thinks Smith was killed because of his race.

It's an idea his friends and family wonder about.

"When I was talking to a few people, they're telling me that he probably was the only white person in the entire club," said Fletcher.

Fletcher described Smith as being a loving friend and father and said she doesn't understand why anyone would want to kill him.