No charges for Detroit pastor who fatally shot man at church
Detroit — No charges will be issued against a Detroit pastor in the fatal shooting of a church member in October, the prosecutor announced Friday.
The pastor, Keon Allison, 36, of Dearborn Heights, fatally shot Deante Smith, 25, on Oct. 18 during church services at the City of God Ministry on Grand River near Lahser on the city’s west side.
"The alleged facts in this case were salacious to some because they happened in a place of worship and the person who discharged the weapon was a man of God,” Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. “We closely and objectively examined the events that led to the killing of Deante Smith. The provable facts in this case showed that the actions of Keon Allison were done in lawful self defense and there will be no charges.”
According to police, Allison said Smith attacked him with a brick before the preacher shot the man with a Glock handgun. Smith was shot about 15 minutes after the start of the 1:30 p.m. Sunday service at the church.
The Prosecutor’s Office said Friday that Smith forcefully entered the church with his estranged wife, Tykia Smith, 25, then encountered Allison in the rear hallway of the church.
“Mr. Smith pushed the pastor’s mother to the ground when he was told that he was no longer welcome at the church,” the prosecutor’s office said.
After some of the churchgoers separated Smith from Allison, Smith said he would leave. As it appeared Smith was leaving, he rushed past two men restraining him toward the pastor.
“Mr. Allison then pulled out a hand gun and fired one shot at Mr. Smith, striking him in the left shoulder, causing him to stagger,” the prosecutor’s office said. “Mr. Smith continued to head towards Mr. Allison who continued to fire his weapon. Mr. Smith was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds.”
There were allegations the incident and shooting centered around a love triangle. Smith had allegedly told friends and others on Facebook the pastor had impregnated his wife. Allison and Tykia Smith have both denied there was any inappropriate relationship.
Friends said the couple had once lived with the pastor, whom Smith considered a mentor.
On Friday, the prosecutor’s office included a history of confrontational behavior by Smith toward Allison, including an Oct. 16 incident in which video captured Smith running from the front of an auto repair shop toward Allison’s van, swinging a bat and shattering a side window.