Residents Describe Deadly Shooting

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PANAMA CITY BEACH Residents at The Club Apartments in Panama City Beach are still reeling from Thursday morning's deadly shooting.

They say a helicopter and several K-9 units woke them up around 2am.

Many are shocked something like this happened so near a gated community.

The Club Resident Ryan Ditchkofsky says, "At first I heard kinda like pop, pop, pop and i looked at my fiancee jokingly and said, 'Was that gunfire?'"

Residents at The Club Apartments on R. Jackson boulevard awoke to an unwelcome sound Thursday morning.

Ditchkofsky's fiancee, Ronda Class, says, "We laughed it off like it was nothing."

Ditchkofsky adds, "Maybe 30 seconds later, probably not even that, was another about three shots."

Class finishes, "And we kind of looked at each other like is that really?"

Panama City Beach Police, Bay County Deputies, and EMS arrived on scene just past 1am to find a white male in his early 20s with multiple gunshot wounds lying in the parking lot.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital less than an hour later, but the crime scene at the club apartments was just beginning.

While a helicopter scoured the skies, K-9 units took to the ground.

Michael Layton also lives at The Club and describes his experience: "About 2:30 this morning, got woken up by some helicopters flying around so i kinda woke up, looked out the window, seeing what was going on and before i knew it, a gentlemen knocked on the door, went downstairs and it was a local police officer asking me if i ever heard any commotion or any gunshots."

Several neighbors said on and off camera that while it's shocking to them that something like this could have happened in their neighborhood it's not uncommon to have groups of kids hanging out in that particular area at all hours of the night.

Class explains, "It's scary but even over the summer a lot of complaints were made about too many people hanging and loitering outside of the gate."

Layton adds, "It makes you a little bit nervous and it makes you think about your security and if you're safe at home in the middle of the night."

Police say the homicide may be the result of a drug deal turned violent.

The men being questioned were picked up in Panama City on 17th street and on Arthur Avenue.


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