Dash Cam Released: Man With Machete Shot and Killed by PC Police

By: Eyewitness News; WJHG Email
By: Eyewitness News; WJHG Email

Panama City - April 24, 2012 -

New dash cam video shows exactly what happened during last weekend's officer-involved shooting in Panama City that left Clifton McKinney, 40 years old, dead.

"I am extremely proud of the officers here at the police department," said Panama City Police Chief John Van Etten.

Investigators said two residents called 911 around 10:30 Sunday morning reporting McKinney's eratic behavior. Three Panama City Police officers were then dispatched to the scene, arriving to find a machete-wielding suspect.

"If you're confronted with a deadly force issue, the general rule is you'll have your firearm out," said Chief Van Etten.

With two tasers and a firearm, the video shows the officers trying unsuccessfully several times to calm McKinney. Then in the final attempt, chaos.

"There are a lot of split second judgment calls being made," said Van Etten.

Tasers appearing to have no effect, McKinney lunged at the officers, chasing one of them into a field across the street. That's when investigators said one of them opened fire, killing McKinney.

"They meet deadly force with deadly force," said Chief Van Etten.

McKinney's criminal history doesn't start there. The Panama City Police Department released around a dozen reports filed against him since 2009, with at least one other incident involving a machete.

Neighbors told News Channel 7 his history should have predicted Sunday's fatal outcome.

"It's an unfortunate situation because we did have a loss of life that day," said Van Etten.

The police department is not yet releasing the names of the four officers involved. They're on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


Panama City-

A seemingly quiet neighborhood in the Millville 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.


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) -- April 22, 2012

Officials say a Panama City police officer has shot and killed a machete wielding man.

The AP reports that a 40-year-old man stood in a street with the machete screaming on Sunday morning.

When officers arrived at the scene, they asked him to put down his machete but say he refused. After unsuccessful attempts to subdue him, the man reportedly charged at the officers and began swinging his machete.

One of the officers then shot him. They performed CPR and rushed the man to a local hospital where he died. The man's name has not been released.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the shooting.

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