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Drug store shooter won't be charged in Andre Smith's death, grand jury rules

Grand jury rules justifiable use of deadly force during Nov. 1 fatal shooting

DAVIE, Fla. – Matthew Barry will not be facing any criminal charges in the November shooting inside a CVS Pharmacy that left a 20-year-old man dead, Davie Police Department Maj. Dale Engle announced Friday.

Judge Martin S. Fein reported Friday that after considering all of the evidence -- including clear surveillance video --  the grand jury concluded that the shooting death of Andre Smith was the result of of "justifiable use of deadly force under Florida law."

During a news conference, Engle said everyone agreed that Smith's death was a tragedy. 

"One man's life was lost over the sale of a phone, but at this time, the case is closed," Engle said. 

Davie police reported Barry, 38,  fatally shot Smith, 20, Nov. 1, at the CVS Pharmacy on Griffin Road and University Drive. The two connected on Craigslist with the help of Smiths' friend Alexander Williams, who told police officers he had gifted Smith the iPhone 7 and was helping him to sell it.

The transaction could have gone through without a hitch, but Smith was angry and followed Barry, police said. Before the shooting, Smith had given Barry the phone, and Barry paid him $280 cash, according to the report.

It was what happened after the transaction that prompted Barry to shoot at Smith. Williams said Smith wanted Barry to give him the phone so he could get the SIM card. Barry told police officers that he removed the SIM card and gave it to Smith.

Knowing that the transaction was complete and there was nothing else to discuss, Barry said he attempted to get into his car to leave, but Williams and Smith were still blocking his path.  Barry and Williams told police officers Smith was threatening to hit Barry.

Williams said Barry told them he had a permit to carry a gun, and because he was afraid he told him he also had a permit. But Williams and Smith were not armed.  

"Williams does not know what, if anything, Andre [Smith] wanted," the State Attorney's memo said

Williams said he told Smith, "Yo! Dre! Let's go! Let's go!" And Smith responded, "Nah! F--- that!" He told police he saw him walk into the store. According to the State Attorney's closing memo, Smith continued to follow Barry down the aisle and when Barry felt he backed him into a corner, Smith made a sudden move and lunged toward him and grabbed him in a threatening manner.

"Barry, in fear for his life and not knowing if Andre Smith was armed, reacted to this immediate threat and removed his concealed firearm from his pocket and fired multiple shots at Andre Smith until he fell to the ground," the closing memo said

Williams told police officers he heard a gun shot, and when he saw people running out of the CVS he said to himself, "Oh! Please God! Don't tell me he shot this kid for this." He said he rushed inside the CVS and Barry pointed a gun at him, but when he saw Smith bleeding he tried to stop the bleeding. Once officers arrived he was escorted outside. 

"Williams was being ordered to the ground, he stated, 'He shot my friend' followed by 'He got shot for a cell phone.'" 

Matthew Barry, 38, (left) fatally shot Andre Smith, 20, (right) Nov. 1 during a transaction gone bad in Davie, authorities say.

Smith's family filed a lawsuit demanding that police release surveillance video of the incident. Authorities had said the video wouldn't be released until its investigation was complete. It was released Friday.

CVS Shooting November 01, 2017 (17-067092) from Davie Police Department on Vimeo.


About the Authors:

Louis Aguirre

Louis Aguirre returned home to Miami and Local 10 in September 2017.

Andrew Perez

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

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