‘We need justice’ – family of man killed by officer at Fayetteville hospital speaks out

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – The family of a man shot and killed by a Fayetteville police officer at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on Nov. 6 spoke out Tuesday asking for answers.

The family of Treva Smutherman spoke out nearly two weeks after the 31-year-old was shot and killed by a Fayetteville detective at the hospital.

Treva Smutherman

“We just want justice,” Smutherman’s mom, Laura Smutherman Malcom, said. “It’s just horrible. Just horrible.”

Malcom said she has to now help raise his four children.

Police said Smutherman attempted to take a deputy’s weapon which led to a struggle. Both were shot during that struggle, Chief Gina Hawkins said.

During that struggle, Detective Tyler Newman, 30, shot and killed Smutherman, police said.

Smutherman was at the hospital after complaining of medical issues following his arrest on an armed robbery charge.

Allen Rogers, the attorney for the Smutherman family, said they are extremely hurt by the shooting.

“A 31-year-old man has been killed. Four children left without a father,” Rogers said. “That’s their son, that’s their family member. They want to know what happened.”

Rogers discussed two videos of the shooting – one taken by a patient and the second belonging to the hospital.

Rogers said Smutherman can be heard on the patient’s video struggling with an officer while pleading for his life – saying “I don’t wanna die” and “don’t shoot me in my face.”

From there, the attorney said a nurse can be heard telling a detective to shoot Smutherman and then telling others not to treat him.

“There’s so much more to the shooting,” Rogers said.

The attorney went on to say video of the incident from the hospital would show Smutherman apologizing.

Rogers is in the process of requesting the video from the hospital but said they won’t release until some civil action is filed.

“We know we will get it.”

The detective who shot Smutherman is on administrative leave pending an investigation by the SBI, which is standard procedure.

Smutherman has been in trouble with the law in the past, something his mother acknowledged Tuesday.

“He’s made mistakes,” she said.

In September, he was arrested on outstanding warrants at a Fayetteville motel.

Officers say he resisted arrest, caused cuts and scrapes to two deputies, and damaged their equipment. 

He also had prior child neglect and drug possession charges from South Carolina. 

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