Police Involved Shooting in Panama City Leaves Residents Concern - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Police Involved Shooting in Panama City Leaves Residents Concerned of a Spike in Violence

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A police involved shooting Saturday morning in Panama City leaves quite a scene along a busy roadway and dozens of rattled by standers. One person was shot by police after he led them on a wild goose chase along Highway 98. Police received two separate 911 calls about the suspect, and when they made contact, they were forced to take matters into their own hands.

"Its real scary. Now I got to go find me somewhere else to park because a bullet could've come through my sleeper and got me, that's real scary", said Darrin Potts, a truck driver who is passing through Panama City. Friday night, he was excited to find a place to park so he could sleep. "Last night I went to sleep didn't hear no commotion, no noise. When I got up this morning and got out and walked over there and the motel roped off and police cars everywhere and they say somebody got shot, I didn't know what was going on. I was sleeping in my truck, sleeping real good."

The incident started just after 6 o'clock when the suspect, described as a black male, attempted to carjack someone at a food mart on the corner of U.S. 98 and Beck Avenue. Unsuccessful in that attempt, the suspect tried to carjack another person just down the street at the R&C Food Mart, also unsuccessful. The suspect then led police next door to the Ramada Inn.  

Chief Scott Ervin with Panama City Police Department described the situation at the hotel, "as they went to make contact with the individual, that person brandished a gun and the officers engaged shortly thereafter and we know that there was an exchange of gunfire, or there was gunfire and the subject was transported for treatment to a local hospital."

Robert Metcalfe who lives in Panama City said, "because he was armed he was asking to be shot at, I totally agree with what the police did." Metcalfe has noticed the spike in violence recently. "Scared actually, I mean nervous. I have children I don't want them to fear shooting everyday so it's nerveracking", Metcalfe added. 

Other residents are concerned about where this incident actually happened. "I just stayed at this hotel here where apparently the shooting happened or whatever happened there a couple nights ago. Q: How scary is that? A: Uh, It's kind of scary, I was just there 2 days ago, you never know", said Johnny Rivera.

Because this was an officer involved shooting...panama city police handed the investigation over to the florida department of law enforcement where it is ongoing.