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Shooting victim's dad says son is a hero for intervening during downtown shooting

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Posted at 10:27 PM, Nov 03, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A normal night on the job, running security at a downtown bar, ended in something Jayson Smith hoped he would never have to face.

In the early hours of October 1, police responded to North Mill Street in downtown Lexington for shots fired. When officers arrived, they found four people with gunshot wounds, one of whom was Smith.

According to police, an altercation on the street led to the shooting inside Silks Lounge, where Smith was bouncing.

A police report from that night describes the suspect, 24-year-old Jamonte Robertson, pulling a handgun from a concealed position and firing into the crowded bar.

In the moment, Smith acted on instinct and went towards the shooter.

“He pulled a gun out and he went right towards him, and the gun was going towards another bouncer's head when Jayson knocked it down and a shot went off on the floor…he fired a bunch of times, I guess there were like 9 different shots in there,” said Jayson’s dad, Kurt Smith.

In conversations with police after the incident, Kurt learned of his son’s heroic act.

“One officer said, 'Your son was a hero because that bar was crowded and his first instinct was to disarm the guy,'” said Kurt. “It brings tears to my eyes. I’m so proud of him.”

But five weeks after the shooting, Jayson is still recovering.

The bullet entered his right bicep, fractured his shoulder blade, broke a vertebra in his neck, and bruised his spinal cord.

“How it missed the artery, it bruised the spinal cord, but didn't break it…I look at him now and I'm just speechless,” said Kurt.

As Jayson recovers in the spinal cord unit at Cardinal Hill, Kurt says his son isn’t the only one whose life has been altered by the violent act.

“You do something like this and your life is over as far as you know it,” said Kurt. “It's not just the victim, it's the guy who does it, his life’s over.”

The suspect, Jamonte Roberston, is being held on a $50,000 bond, facing charges of assault and convicted felon in possession of a handgun. He’s currently awaiting a mental evaluation.

Grateful that his son intervened before more bullets could fly and more lives were impacted, Kurt said, “It's never too late to do the right thing, and my son did the right thing.”

You can read more about Smith's condition and donate to his recovery here.