Bonifay Shootout

By: Hermelinda Vargas
By: Hermelinda Vargas

A Bonifay man's strange behavior leading up to the shots that severely wounded police Officer Steven Lee was not completely without warning.

"We knew he was capable of some things. We didn't know he'd do something like that, but he had a history of just going off every once in a while and getting a little crazy. I guess it all came to a head," says Eddie Nalls, a next-door neighbor.

Neighbors aren't the only ones aware of Dwight McWater's problem. Five months ago, McWaters’ mom and sister asked a judge to commit him to Bay Medical Behavioral Healthcare Center under the Baker Act.

The judge agreed after reading statements like this from McWater's sister.

"Dwight's personality has become so hostile that I fear his verbal threats of violence will turn into reality unless he receives professional help." Or "He has reached a point where he is a danger both to himself and society."

According to public records, McWaters was evaluated at Bay Medical's Behavioral Center, but released a few days later.

Bay Behavioral did not return Newschannel 7's calls about the reasons for his release. In the meantime, FDLE investigators are working to recreate Saturday's shooting between McWaters and five law enforcement officers, including Steven Lee.

McWaters is still in critical condition in a Dothan Hospital. Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators say it could be a month before they will have a final report on exactly what happened.


8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647 FCC Form 398
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