UPDATE: FDLE Continuing Investigation into Officer-Involved Shooting

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Panama City- A seemingly quiet neighborhood in the Milville area was turned upside down Sunday morning.

Around 10:45 Panama City Police responded to an unruly person at his home off East Avenue and 7th Street. When officers arrived, they said Clifton McKinney, 40 years old, was brandishing a machete and wasn't backing down.

"It's sad, I mean I feel so bad for his family," said neighbor Kathy Simmons.

Simmons, who lives just a few houses down, said she saw it all unfold.

"They (officers) kept telling him to put it down, they didn't want to hurt him, and he acted like he was going to walk off and he charged them like a bull swinging the machete," said Simmons.

Police Chief John Van Etten said the officers then tased McKinney, but that didn't slow the man down.

"The individual kept coming at the officers and the third officer ended up shooting the individual," said Chief Van Etten.

Investigators said all four officers involved were ok. McKinney, though, was pronounced dead at Bay Medical Center.

"We heard three small pops then we heard a loud boom," said eyewitness Jennifer Geraci.

Police said this wasn't the first time they've responded to calls regarding the man, and eyewitnesses told News Channel 7 they saw it coming.

"He just would yell a lot and get crazy and talk weird things," said Geraci.

"He'd take his bill stick and he'd curse God, say he was God," said Simmons.

The Panama City Police Department released few other details Sunday. Stay with News Channel 7 for more updates.


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  • by beach guy on Apr 25, 2012 at 03:55 PM
    Seems like a good shooting to me, the witness says the man charged the police swinging the machete at them, what I dont understand is why they even tried to taser the guy.
  • by CopsWife Location: Bay County on Apr 23, 2012 at 02:00 PM
    Sorry for the family of the man killed, but I am happy for the families of the Officers' involved. They did what they had to do to keep people safe and go home to their families. I would expect no less from any Officer.
  • by Bryana D. Location: Panama City on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:07 PM
    You people are evil! No matter who was in the wrong, the police or Mr. McKinney... He is still someone's son, husband, and father! Have some respect for the deceased.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 23, 2012 at 02:04 PM in reply to Bryana D.
      Thank you Bryana D. at least there are some decent people who live here
  • by Anonymous on Apr 23, 2012 at 07:36 AM
    I can't believe the comments. This man had caused trouble before, charges police with a mechette, was tased and didn't stop, and people are upset with the police for doing their job? This was a 'suicide by cop', or else the guy was just totally crazy.
  • by RU4Real on Apr 23, 2012 at 07:19 AM
    Dave and Lisa, did you read the part that they used a Taser on him and it didn't stop him? He still kept coming at them with a machete. You do realize a machete is a big knife and can be used to kill, right? It's a shame he was killed but based on the story and eyewitness accounts, they didn't have much choice. Shooting an enraged, erratically-behaving, armed person in the leg won't necessarily stop them or neutralize the risk they pose to others - and I'm not just talking about police! What about neighbors, bystanders, the little kid that may live next door?
  • by Anonymos Location: panama city fl on Apr 23, 2012 at 06:50 AM
    The reason this is a problem the police go to target practice often a leg shoot or shoot gun with non lethal ammo would have worked deadly force should always be the last thing.
  • by Jack Location: Chipley on Apr 23, 2012 at 06:44 AM
    I cannot beleive that the police are being blamed again. When a taser doesn't work, why would you think a shot in the leg would work? Too much television.
  • by Anonymous Location: Lynn Haven on Apr 23, 2012 at 05:37 AM
    Read the story, the gentleman was tased and did not slow down, I guess if one of the police officers was sliced that would have been alright. Cops are taught to only use deadly force when needed. People lives in danger I would say that is a good reason.
  • by Anonymous Location: Florida on Apr 23, 2012 at 05:08 AM
    Lisa, A police officer isn't trained to shoot to kill. They are trained to aim for center mass. A target in motion, along with fear for your safety, along with adrenaline from the situation would make hitting a leg near impossible. Not to mention a person determined to kill someone isn't going to stop with a non life threatening shot to the leg. Otherwise, guns drawn and pointed at someone would stop them along with threats of deadly force if needed. The officers were in danger, they made a call that even they didn't want to make. Dave, Tasers were deployed several times without the normal effect. Less than lethal was used, and didn't work. Several times... Not sure where everyone gets the whole "He killed someone because he wears a badge". Last time I checked, a piece of metal or aluminum on someones chest doesn't make them homicidal. An independent witness confirmed they made a call that was needed. They may or may not like the police, but they were there and even they said it was needed. Let it go. Glad to see the officers went home safely. To the family, I'm sorry for your loss.
  • by Rick Location: Youngstown on Apr 23, 2012 at 03:59 AM
    Many people do not understand the use of deadly force that is granted to police. If you call police because of a friend, relative, or neighbor or even a neighbors dog you should be aware that you have called someonr who is authorized to use deadly force and will use it. They can kill you on your own property, in your own house, and they are protected by law to do so. Think before you call. Is there ne other way to resolve the issue?
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