weather icon Clear

Las Vegas shootout survivor ID’d as motorsports company president

Updated April 27, 2020 - 10:11 am

A man who police say acted in self-defense in a deadly southwest Las Vegas shooting is the president of a local motorsports business, according to a news release issued by the company.

BJ Baldwin, president of Baldwin Motorsports in Las Vegas and son of a Las Vegas gaming executive, was with his girlfriend in a shopping complex parking lot at 9640 W. Tropicana Ave., near Fort Apache Drive, on Wednesday when two men approached their vehicle. Las Vegas police said at least one of the men approaching the vehicle was armed.

Police — who did not identify Baldwin by name — said the man having dinner with his girlfriend then acted in self-defense when he shot and killed one of the two approaching men, Joseph Anthwone Smith, 43. There was evidence of gunfire from two weapons at the scene, with at least 15 shots fired.

Baldwin Motorsports Las Vegas issued a news release via Facebook identifying Baldwin as the man who survived the shootout. The release reads:

“On April 22, 2020, at approximately 2 a.m. at Tropicana and Fort Apache in Las Vegas Nevada, BJ Baldwin, President of Baldwin Motorsports Las Vegas, had just finished a late night dinner with his girlfriend when 2 men approached quickly. One of them had a gun directly pointed at the girlfriend and began to fire.

“The girlfriend sought cover and the gunman then directed his attention to BJ and began to fire several times at BJ, who also sought cover. BJ, who possesses a valid concealed weapons permit, returned fire and the shooter went down.

“BJ did not engage the other man as the man ran away. BJ and his girlfriend immediately jumped into BJ’s car, left the scene and called 911. Metro has informed us that BJ acted in self-defense.

“BJ is continuing to cooperate with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office.”

Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Ray Spencer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday that the case was “clearly a case of self-defense.” A Las Vegas police spokesman later said the case was forwarded to the Clark County district attorney’s office for review.

Baldwin is a renowned off-road motorsports driver. A news release about Baldwin’s Motorsports partnership with Monster Energy in 2011 states he is the son of Bobby Baldwin. Bobby Baldwin is the chairman and chief executive officer of The Drew Las Vegas, a Strip hotel-casino set to open in 2022.

BJ Baldwin is known in motorsports circles as the driver of the “Ballistic” BJ Baldwin Trophy Truck.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Crime Videos
Arrests Made In Murder Investigation
Nickolas Vonalst, Monika Gonzalez, and a juvenile were arrested following a murder investigation that began on June 23rd, 2020. (Nye County Sheriff's Office/YouTube)
The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a homicide
The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a homicide at the area of East Flamingo Road and Palos Verde Street on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Police investigate officer-involved shooting in northern Las Vegas - Video
An individual who police say was brandishing a sword was shot and injured by Las Vegas police, prompting a barricade situation in the central Las Vegas Valley on Monday, June 23. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Woman steals truck, fires at officer - Video
Shanita Hearns, 34, of Las Vegas shot at Henderson Police officers after stealing a truck from a gas station at Horizon Drive and Horizon Ridge Parkway in Henderson on May 31. She was eventually arrested near Tropicana Avenue and Decatur Boulevard after Nevada Highway Patrol officers jumped a median to ram into the side of the truck. (Henderson Police Department)
Mobbed Up - Part Five teaser
A look at some of the interesting reminders of a mob life in the home of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, featured on the fifth episode of the Mobbed Up podcast. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Shootings during Las Vegas protest leave 1 dead, officer in critical condition
A Las Vegas police officer was shot and critically injured Monday night. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police briefing on shooting during Black Lives Matter protest
Sheriff Joe Lombardo briefs the media on shootings during the Black Lives Matter protest that left one man dead and a Metro officer in critical condition on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Customer reacts to store looting
Longtime customer Najja Hashim talks about the looting of a neighborhood convenience store. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Search continues for homicide suspects - Video
In October 2017, 62-year-old David Rathbun was reported missing by family members and later found deceased in Arizona. The Las Vegas police homicide section is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 55-year-old Charles Ausiello and 45-year-old Jolene Hibbs who are suspects in Rathbun’s death. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two men were stabbed Thursday morning at a central Las Vegas home - Video
Two men were stabbed at a central Las Vegas home, Thursday morning, May 21, leaving both with life-threatening injuries. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Cellphone tower destroyed In Nye County - Video
The Nye County Sheriff's Office is investigating a cellphone tower being destroyed in Pahrump. (Nye County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
Shots Fired in Downtown Las Vegas
Police reported that they were investigating a shooting in which a suspect fired a weapon at officers on Fremont Street on Monday, May 4, 2020.
Police briefing on officer-involved shooting northeast of Las Vegas - VIDEO
Metro Police Department Capt. Nichole Splinter gives a briefing from the scene of an officer-involved shooting at Apex Road and Interstate 15, northeast of Las Vegas, Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police ID man killed in officer-involved shooting - VIDEO
A 24-year-old man with a sawed-off shotgun was shot dead by Las Vegas police in front of a red car the man allegedly tried to steal toward the end of car a chase Tuesday with speeds of more than 100 mph through multiple areas of the valley. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police are investigating a homicide
Las Vegas police are investigating a homicide after a man was found deceased in the parking lot of a strip mall at 9640 W. Tropicana Ave. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Homicide briefing
Las Vegas police investigate a homicide in southwest Las Vegas. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police investigate homicide
Las Vegas police investigate a homicide in southwest Las Vegas. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police investigate officer-involved shooting in east valley - VIDEO
Las Vegas police on Tuesday were investigating an officer-involved shooting in the east valley. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nye county detective returns home from hospital - VIDEO
A Nye County Sheriff’s Office detective who was shot in March was released from the hospital Wednesday and is recovering at home with family. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)