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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  • by brenda Location: fl on Apr 25, 2012 at 02:12 PM
    makes you wonder if and how much or how many times the police have road by and harrassed this man like intimidation
  • by durka dur on Apr 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM
    did someone sit on that police cheifs head as a baby? That said, I rarely side with cops, because they are more crocked than a J, but I have to agree wit the use of deadly force in this instant.
  • by organize the rally on Apr 24, 2012 at 01:34 PM
    Somebody call Jesse and Al and tell them to get down here pronto. Actually, it was very good police work and I'm glad the officers went home safe that day.
  • by Jones Location: Perry on Apr 24, 2012 at 01:16 PM
    Good shot.
  • by Ninja man on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM
    You can't even play Ninja Man in America without being shot.
  • by Limolib on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM
    why couldn't the cops just shoot it out of his hand?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 24, 2012 at 01:35 PM in reply to Limolib
      Because real life is not anything like Hollywood. In fact, I don't think they even do that any more in the movies. I once attended an extensive firearms training course, and several people were of the mindset of "I'll just shoot the gun/knife/club out of their hand". The instructor said "Fine, you don't graduate this class, until you've shown that you can consistently do just that." Rather than score hits on the center of mass of the target, they were required to hit the target at the point where the gun would be held in the hand. There wasn't one successful shooter in the bunch. They quickly changed their minds about "shoot it out of their hand."
  • by Tomekasithatbiataia Location: Tallahassee on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM
    Another thug gone, good riddance
    • reply
      by truth on Apr 24, 2012 at 01:49 PM in reply to Tomekasithatbiataia
      he didnot have on a hoodie, so how is he a thug??
      • reply
        by Tonya on Apr 24, 2012 at 05:50 PM in reply to truth
        Does wearing a hoodie make you a thug?
    • reply
      by Tonya on Apr 24, 2012 at 05:51 PM in reply to Tomekasithatbiataia
      What made him a thug?
  • by Rooster Location: G.C. on Apr 24, 2012 at 09:28 AM
    Was police informed that this individual had been under psychiatric care before??? Sad situation... SOME SHOULD HAVE LET THEM KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM in reply to Rooster
      He let them know himself when they charged them with a machete moron.
    • reply
      by Lisa on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM in reply to Rooster
      How would that change anything? They were called to the scene because obviously this guy was dangerous. He was either going to kill them or someone else, so they had to stop him. Really doesn't matter WHY he was acting crazy, if you go around swinging a machete at people, someone is going to "stop" you.
  • by Ralph the electrician on Apr 24, 2012 at 06:54 AM
    Police brutality again. Steven Segal would have stepped inside his swing, captured his arm and broken it. Officers need more training.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM in reply to Ralph the electrician
      stick to commentig what you do for a living Ralph
  • by truth on Apr 24, 2012 at 06:50 AM
    with rick scotts new plans, we will be alot more of this as he is releasing mentally ill people back to the community, and closing the state facilities that care for them, so get prepared for more as more and more are released to save money!!
    • reply
      by NOMNOM on Apr 24, 2012 at 08:41 PM in reply to truth
      So when did they let you out?
    • reply
      by Hammer on Apr 24, 2012 at 09:38 PM in reply to truth
      Scott was the first one out of the Ward. He doesn't know he is Governor. He thinks its a hallucination.
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