The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has taken over the investigation into Friday night’s “officer involved shooting” in Panama City.
It happened near the intersection of 9th Street and Sherman Avenue. The shooting victim’s name is Ronnie Johnson. The 22-year-old father of two is still undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit at local hospital where he remains in critical but stable condition.
The details leading up to the shooting are still unclear. However, authorities have confirmed that the shooting took place around 7 p.m. Friday night during a joint undercover drug investigation between the Bay County Sheriff s Office and the Panama City Police Department.
Panama City police say undercover officers completed a drug sale with Johnson, but the sale took place in an area where some kids were playing.
The officers reportedly allowed Johnson to drive around the corner, then boxed him in with their cars. They say that’s when Johnson tried to take off. At least one witness claims an officer was dragged by Johnson’s car.
But police will only say Johnson endangered officers’ lives, so they opened fire.
Johnson’s family gathered outside of the emergency room Friday night. They say the officers overreacted.
"This is ridiculous because he got shot from the back. He didn’t have no weapon. He didn’t have no gun. He was in a residential area. Anybody could have got shot. He wasn’t the only person who could have got killed."
Johnson was shot several times, although authorities won’t confirm how many times he was hit. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says the investigation is in the preliminary stages and has not released much information.
We do know that Johnson has a criminal past both as a juvenile and as an adult. He’s been arrested for drug possession, weapons possession, forgery, resisting arrest and battery on a law enforcement officer. No charges though have been filed in Friday night’s incident.
Meanwhile, about three hours later there was a second shooting several blocks away from the Johnson shooting. It happened around 9:30 near the corner of 9th Court and McArthur.
Panama City police say four men dressed in dark clothing and camouflage attempted to rob a man walking in that area.
Police say the man turned and ran from the four suspects. That’s when they fired two shots at him. One of the bullets hit the victim in the left arm, causing a minor wound.
He was treated at a local hospital. Police have not identified the victim and are still looking for the four suspects.