NRA Produces Video Praising BJ Baldwin for Defending Himself and Girlfriend, Tori Nonaka

The National Rifle Association released a video this week profiling a self-defense shooting involving professional off-road racer BJ Baldwin and his girlfriend, former Glock brand ambassador, Tori Nonaka.

“Two weeks ago, an armed attacker approached me and my girlfriend in this parking lot willing to end our lives,” Baldwin says while standing in the lot where the incident took place. “But he didn’t know, in two seconds I would be ending his.”

The shooting occurred on April 22 in the parking lot of an In-N-Out burger joint in Las Vegas, Nevada. It garnered attention from several local media outlets, but the NRA has seized on it to promote armed self-defense and gun rights ahead of the 2020 election.

“It’s more important now than ever to join the fight to preserve our rights,” Baldwin says at the video’s conclusion. “So we can ensure the safety of ourselves, the safety of our families, and preserve the right to do so.”

New details have emerged in the case since GunsAmerica covered the incident on April 29.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told the Las Vegas Journal Review that Baldwin’s actions were “a clear case of self-defense.”

According to a police report obtained by the Journal Review, two men, Joseph Smith, 43, and his brother, Kevin Smith, 40, approached Baldwin and Nonaka while the two stood near their car.

“(Kevin) Smith said Joseph walked up to them, pulled his gun out, pointed it at the female and smiled as he began shooting at the male,” the report said. “Kevin stated Joseph was the first to fire his weapon.”

In the NRA video, Baldwin adds that Joseph Smith approached Nonaka first and shot his first two rounds at her.

SEE ALSO: BJ Baldwin of Baldwin Motorsports Involved in Justified Homicide in Las Vegas

“As Joseph Smith got closer, he turned his firearm toward Baldwin,” the report said. “When Joseph Smith turned his pistol toward Baldwin, Baldwin drew his 9 mm semiautomatic pistol from a holster on his waist and stepped north, taking cover behind a trash can.”

Baldwin’s account is slightly different on this point. He says that he didn’t pull out his firearm until Joseph Smith turned his firearm away from Baldwin and point it at Nonaka.

Police said Joseph Smith fired seven times at Baldwin, and Baldwin fired 11 times at Smith (contrary to the NRA’s video, which claims Baldwin landed all 10 shots). Baldwin wasn’t sure who shot first, but he did claim he never shot at Kevin Smith, who was unarmed.  

Joseph Smith died at the scene.

Kevin Smith told police that he and his brother did not know the couple.

“Kevin told detectives the white male shot in self-defense and should not be charged,” police said.

GunsAmerica reached out to Baldwin and Nonaka but has not received a response.

SEE ALSO: Team GLOCK! — SHOT Show 2015

According to the report, Kevin Smith told police that his brother had been upset after failing to purchase a gun at a nearby store. It’s unclear why that incident precipitated the attempted murder.  

“Kevin had a feeling Joseph was going to do something stupid, but denied knowing what,” the report said.

Meanwhile, Baldwin and Nonaka fled the scene to the home of Baldwin’s father, Bobby Baldwin, chairman and CEO of Drew Las Vegas, a Strip resort set to open in 2022.

Police said that Nonoka tried to call 911 while they were in the car, but hung up after saying, “we were just in a.” When they reached Bobby Baldwin’s house, the couple called an attorney, who called the police, according to the report.

Kevin Smith was eventually arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Journal Review.

GunsAmerica requested a copy of the official police report but were denied that request because the case is still “open.”

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Big John May 31, 2020, 12:23 pm

    If the NRA wanted to impress me with a video, it would be one on the forced resignation of Wayne LaPierre and the civil suit filed by the NRA to get some of THE MEMBERSHIP’S money back.

  • Kane May 30, 2020, 9:41 am

    Just an aside on Beto O’Rourke, this is an aspiring politician that vows to confiscate firearms from law abiding US citizens. During the Democrat presidential debates Beto let it slip that he owned guns that he inherited from a “great uncle.” So, Beto avoided any background checks and would thus slide under his own confiscation scheme. This is the guy that shotgun Joe Biden would put in a position as some sort of ‘gun Czar’ in his potential administration.

  • Stan d. Upnow May 29, 2020, 7:21 pm

    Wow, is this story ever a mess!

    “Joseph walked up to them, pulled his gun out, pointed it at the female and smiled as he began shooting at the male,” said his brother, Kevin.
    But, Baldwin said that Joseph Smith approached Nonaka first and shot his first two rounds at her.
    ?? so which is it ?? Big contradiction here.
    Wait, there’s more contradiction– “As Joseph Smith got closer, he turned his firearm toward Baldwin,” the (police)report said. Huh? Thought Smith already fired his pistol at Nonaka.
    So now Baldwin says Joseph Smith turned his firearm away from him and pointed it at Nonaka.
    Confused yet? There’s more.
    Kevin Smith told police that his brother had been upset after failing to purchase a gun at a nearby store.
    So….. where did Joseph suddenly get a gun??? *POOF* it’s the “gun fairy.”

  • Carbine Williams May 29, 2020, 9:41 am

    I love a happy ending to a story as this.Play stupid games with a gun and you die.End of happy story

  • BW May 29, 2020, 7:54 am

    Great story BJ. Most AMERICANS with a brain, common sense and a conscience are on your side.

    Consider me all the above.

    Thanks for the VERY happy ending.

    • glock19fan May 29, 2020, 10:23 am

      Amen to that. Remember that a gun in the hand is worth more than the entire Police Department on the phone.

  • Willie-O May 29, 2020, 6:50 am

    Am I the only one confused after reading (and even re-reading) this story ? Granted, things happen all the time that simply don’t make sense. Maybe this was just one of those incidents.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend