Vanroy Evan Smith is the Long Beach Lexus driver accused of stabbing doctor and bicyclist Michael John Mammone to death after running him over in Dana Point, California, on February 1, 2023, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
On Facebook, Smith, who goes by the name “Evan Smith,” says he is owner of a bookkeeping and tax firm. On Facebook, he described having past ties to both a sect within the Rastafari movement, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and what he described as “traditional Christian groups.”
A graphic video captured the moment Mammone was struck.
ABC7 reported that a neighbor, who was not named, heard “what sounded like a ‘gunshot.’ When they ran outside, she said, they heard the suspect uttering racial slurs about ‘white privilege.'” The television station reported, however, that sheriff’s investigators “had not been told of that allegation.” According to CBS News, “Witnesses also claimed Smith was holding a BB gun when he first approached Mammone.”
Upon arrival, “deputies found Michael John Mammone, 58, a cyclist, lying in the intersection suffering from severe injuries,” a press release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said. “Mammone was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.”
The release says authorities have not found any connection between Smith and Mammone.
According to Health.usnews.com, Mammone was “an emergency medicine physician in Laguna Beach, California,” who was “affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Providence Mission Hospital-Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach and CHOC Children’s Hospital.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Accuse Vanroy Evan Smith of Striking Michael Mammone From Behind While He Stopped at a Red Light on a Bicycle
According to the press release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, at 3:02 p.m. on February 1, 2023, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies “were dispatched to the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Crown Valley Parkway reference a traffic collision and an assault.”
Mammone “was riding a bicycle facing northbound on PCH when he was struck from behind by the suspect vehicle,” the release says. “The driver of the vehicle, Vanroy Evan Smith, 39, from Long Beach, exited his vehicle and assaulted Mammone with a knife.”
According to the release, a knife “believed to be used in the assault was recovered at the scene.”
Smith was driving a white Lexus, according to an interview Orange County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Woodruff gave to KTLA.
Woodruff said in the interview that Smith’s vehicle projected the bicyclist into the intersection. At that point, the suspect went around the cyclist, exited his vehicle and continued to assault the doctor, according to what Woodruff told KTLA.
According to CBS News, Mammone was stopped at a red light when he was struck in a bicycle lane.
2. Vanroy Smith, a Father of 2 With Roots in Jamaica & Ties to the Rastafarian Movement & ‘Traditional Christian Groups,’ Posted Frequently About Religion on Facebook
On Facebook, Smith wrote frequently about God and religion. His most recent visible post, from 2021, reads, in part, “If a man follows God when he physically has nothing, even give up things, and continues to follow God into having something. Note that the things he later has are a very small part of his rewards.”
He also posted a lot about his two daughters, including pictures with them. In 2021, he wrote, with a photo of the girls, “Steppin out of elementary, on to new things. Very proud and grateful.”
Comments on his Facebook page indicated he has roots in Jamaica.
In 2020, Smith wrote a lengthy, spelling-error-riddled post on Facebook about his religious beliefs. It read, in part:
Current thought: A reasoning on religion.
There are many sect under the Rasta movement. The Twelve Tribes of Israel, Bobo Ashanti, and Niyabinghi. Then there are several smaller groups, including African Unity, Covenant Rastafari, Messianic Dreads and the Selassian Church. To me, just like the tradional church system is plaqued with division, so it is with Rastafarians.
I spent some time with the Twelve Tribe of Isreal, and found that basically all practices of honoring the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are followed. This lead me to take a look at Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian King whose Christian faith has always been fully on display; Marcus Garvey and the Negro Improvement Association; then Rastafarians, the group who ran ahead with Marcus Garvey’s teachings, and hail Haile Selassie as God. Some even dismissing the fact that Selassie himself believed and followed the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Most people when they think of Rastafarians, only see long hair and weed smoking. Like anything else, there is always those who run ahead to make themselves seen more than others. The believers I found were a mix of dreadlocks and shaved, smoking and none smoking, and each shared their faith passionately.
I find I enjoyed the company of the Twelve Tribe of Isreal, and appreciate the love displayed amongst the members; similar to how I enjoyed and appreciated the different traditional Christian groups I’ve spent most of my believing years with. In all groups there are always things to be worked through and more growth to be had. I’m thankful for each, and continue to pray we become better at the right time.
According to Britannica, Rastafari is a “religious and political movement, begun in Jamaica in the 1930s and adopted by many groups around the globe, that combines Protestant Christianity, mysticism, and a pan-African political consciousness.”
The Twelve Tribes of Israel is associated with the Rastafari movement, according to an article in The Journal of Black Studies by Monique Bedasse. It explains:
The organization was founded in 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica by Vernon Carrington (Gadman). Since then, the Twelve Tribes has become a global organization, with branches in 17 different locations around the world, including a settlement in Shashemane, Ethiopia. The fact that the legendary Bob Marley was a member of this group has much to do with its international presence.
In another post, he praised the movie “Black Panther,” writing,
Like so many others who have been called to witness, I have been receiving the urge to write about Chadwick Boseman. AKA: KING T’CHALLA! When I tried to start, it came to my mind that I did not know enough to say anything at the time; so I went seaking for knowledge, and came across the movie:
Message from the King.
First I want to point out, that I believe this movie was not about a fight against color, but more a fight against evil.
Then I must say it has some of the most powerful examples of walking by faith I have ever seen captured on film.
Finally, in case the violence is off putting to some; let us remember that God the father, whom Jesus our father Obays, have been raising up warrior kings from the beginning. Jesus’s work to show us love through grace does not change THE GREAT I AM.
Someone may say: it’s just a movie, and that is true. To that I will say: God’s ways of delivering knowledge is not limited to the advanced method of music.
I woke up just now, and I don’t even remember how, but I ended up on this video. I watched the whole thing, and emediately knew it was time.
In closing, I hope we observe and remember:
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
3. Vanroy Evan Smith, Who Is Described in Jail Records as Unemployed, Was Detained by Bystanders, the Sheriff’s Department Says
Jail records list Smith as unemployed.
When deputies arrived, the Sheriff’s Department’s press release says, Smith “was being detained by bystanders and was taken into custody. He was later booked into the Orange County Jail on suspicion of murder.”
The release noted that there is currently no evidence the suspect knew the victim.
“At this time, there is no known connection between the suspect and the victim,” it says. “Investigators will work to determine what led to this incident.”
The release concludes, “This incident is being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detail. If you have any information related to this crime, please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-288-6740. Anonymous information may be provided through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.”
4. Vanroy Evan Smith, Who Is Divorced, Wrote About Politics on Facebook & Asked, ‘How Do You Justify Forgiveness?’
In 2021, Smith wrote on Facebook, “Current thought: Forgiveness is bitter/sweet. How do you justify forgiveness. It is pardoning yourself by pardoning others. Our pains have grown us, and now we are all stronger, wiser, more civilized beings.”
He also wrote about his business: “One of the benefits of owning a sole proprietorship, single member LLC, or being a sole shareholder of a corporation, is you can title yourself based on whatever role you play.😏”
Smith wrote a lengthy post that referenced race:
It’s a bit of inner reasoning I thought worth sharing. The actual color white shows a clearer surface, but reflects, or we could say, rejects the sun; while the color black conceals surface appearances, but absorbs/accepts the sun. I know people referred to as black where their deeds are dark/conceiled; while others good deeds radiates like a bright light. I also know people who are considered white; some dark, and others shine bright.
By appearance and established standards, I am called a black man. Does that mean I deny and reject half of my ancestry. How do we tell someone to filter things like that from their blood? All in all, we really need to change our way of thinking. Black and white is completely different from light and darkness. Our history has told us otherwise, and we act and respond to each other based on these beliefs; but no matter how much you say a thing, if it is based on a lie, it will never become truth.
In 2019, he wrote on Facebook that he did not believe there was a “higher race.” He wrote that there are the “oppressed” and the “oppressors.” In 2020, he shared a post from Occupy Democrats praising the accomplishments of President Barack Obama. Multiple of his Facebook posts were positive to Obama; he shared a video by Obama in one post in which the former president explained that he voted for Biden and Kamala Harris by mail.
Smith also shared a video of Joe Biden speaking about ending systemic racism and other issues. “What is on the ballot here is the character of this country,” Biden said in the video shared by Smith.
Smith wrote on Facebook that he was divorced. One photo on his page shows another man in a bicycle race.
5. Michael Mammone Practiced Medicine for More Than 20 Years
Mammone “received his medical degree from University of Southern California School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years,” according to Health.usnews.com.
Providence Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, where Mammone was an emergency room doctor, told Fox 11 Los Angeles in a statement:
We are stunned by this devastating tragedy. The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend. We will honor Dr. Mammone’s dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care.
Hospital staff told the television station that Mammone “was an amazing doctor” who often biked and was killed less than a mile from the hospital.
“That’s the irony of this whole thing. If a patient was brought in his condition he would have done everything he could to save that person. He has saved so many lives here, and he died very close to where he saved hundreds of lives,” said cardiologist Dr. Dawn Aatwal to Fox 11 Los Angeles.
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