Victim: Nikita Williams (killed)
The accused: Tavarious China Smith


Nikita Williams

Black male

Age at time: 19

Weapon: gun


Tavarious China Smith

Black male

Age at time: 25

Weapon: gun



Case type:
drug deal gone wrong

Behind Store



Case year:

Location details: Rubonia Social Club in Rubonia, Manatee County, on Feb. 07, 2008

What happened: Tavarious China Smith said he was in Rubonia selling drugs when someone told him that Nikita Williams and his brother were on their way. Williams had said he would kill Smith if he didn't give him 10 percent of profits from his drug deals. Smith claimed that Williams pulled a gun on him, though at least one witness said Smith was unarmed. Smith pulled his own gun out and killed Williams. A juvenile witness to the shooting was unwilling to cooperate, according to police. Smith was not arrested. A few days after Williams' death, two men dressed in black firebombed a house in Palmetto and shot at its occupants as they tried to leave, wounding one resident. Three women and two children were displaced by the fire. Though the perpetrators were never identified, the firebombing was believed to have been targeting Smith, who often stayed with a relative in the area. But they hit the wrong home -- Smith was in hiding elsewhere.

The outcome: Smith was not arrested or charged after investigators decided he shot Williams in self defense.

Investigating agency: Manatee County Sheriff

Case decision made by: police, state attorney

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?


Was the victim armed?


Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?


Did the defendant pursue the victim?


Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?


Was the defendant on his or her property?


Did someone witness the attack?


Was there physical evidence?


Source: Tampa Bay Times, June 17, 2012. Link to original source

Click here for more information about how we compiled these cases. Know of something we missed or have a photo to share? Submit a case here.


Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013