Valdosta officer attacked in deadly shooting speaks out for the first time

Published: Sep. 28, 2016 at 6:21 PM EDT
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By: Noelani Mathews

January 9, 2017

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- It’s been more than three months since a deadly officer-involved shooting on Fresno Drive in Valdosta.

Following a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day event on Monday, Officer Alyssa Shirey shared her testimony for the first time.

“I’m no public speaker, but with the way police are seen in the public eye, I decided I would speak,” says Shirey.

She started by stating last year, 140 officers were killed nationwide and 63 of those were gunned down. She adds that Georgia was the third highest state for deaths in the line of duty.

“These are the statistics every officer ignores as they put on their uniform.”

The officer recalls what happened after responding to what was supposed to be a typical custody call.

"Had I been going to a call with a man with a knife, it would have been a lot easier to prepare mentally and physically.”

She would also prepare for another unexpected turn.

"I don't think he recognized me, however, I did recognize him,”

Shirey once had several college classes with Lozano, who graduated with a criminal justice degree at Valdosta State.

"I know for 100% fact that he meant nothing malicious in intent towards me necessarily. I believe he did have an incident of mental lapse where at that point he couldn't control."

The officer was placed on administrative leave for a month and a half, following the fatal outcome.

"I knew the community 100% backed me."

She says the support made her grateful while getting through the hard time.

“When you’re not backed by your community, you have to look over your shoulder every day. That’s something we do anyway, but it would heighten to an extreme where more than likely I wouldn’t be here today.”

In November, the officer’s use of force was determined justified by a grand jury.

She’s now putting the past behind her, and moving forward in the line of duty.

By: Noelani Mathews

December 21, 2016

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) – On Wednesday, the Valdosta Police department released new shocking video of the fatal shooting on Fresno Street.

It happened two months ago, after Valdosta Police officer Alyssa Shirey responded to a custody dispute.

The officer’s dash camera and another witness’s cell phone caught the entire act in front of Jonathan Lozano’s home.

"Unfortunately, he had just found out some information about his child being taken out of state and he just snapped,” says Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

The videos show Lozano attacking his daughter’s mother, and then attacking Officer Shirey.

The mother drives off with the daughter in her car, and leaves Lozano and the officer.

Chief Childress asks, “Now that you've seen the dash camera and the cell phone video, what would you do if someone was coming at you with a knife?”

The cell phone footage shows officers demanding Lozano to get on the ground, before hearing three gunshots.

Lozano was transported to a nearby hospital, but later died of his injuries.

In November, Officer Shirey was questioned on her use of force.

A Grand Jury watched the videos and decided the act was justified.

"I've told all my officers and civilians how proud I am of them, and I also told them I'll be glad when 2016 is over,” says Chief Childress.

They say the familiar scene on Fresno Street is now a sore reminder for law enforcement not only in Valdosta, but nationwide.

"It's been a terrible year for law enforcement, and it's been a terrible year for law enforcement in the community,” says Chief Childress.

This year, two Valdosta officers have been attacked and resulted in fatal shootings.

The VPD says they’re still hopeful.

"If there's a silver lining here, it's that the community has rallied around both of my officers,” says Chief Childress.

He says the case is officially closed, and Officer Shirey is back on duty.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News; AP

September 29, 2016

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Eyewitness video captures the chilling moments before a Valdosta man was shot and killed by police.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday that the man, identified as Johnathan Lozano-Murillo, had died from his injuries.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Valdosta officer Alyssa Shirey was called to a child custody dispute involving Lozano-Murillo at around 6 pm, in the 1600 block of Fresno Street.

Investigators say the woman involved in the dispute with Lozano-Murillo arrived at the scene, and he attacked her. Officer Shirey stepped in, trying to protect the woman from Lozano, who was striking the woman.

According to the GBI, at some point Lozano-Murillo drew a knife and went after the officer. She tried to use a taser, but it didn’t work. The GBI says Lozano-Murillo kept advancing toward Officer Shirey when she shot him.

He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he later died.

Cellphone video taken by a witness at the scene shows the tense moments leading up to the shooting and then the gunshots ringing out. Some of the video footage may be disturbing.

The AP reports that GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said the officer is white and Lozano-Murillo was Hispanic.

GBI says its agents interviewed witnesses, processed the scene and collected evidence throughout the night and are continuing with their investigation.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

September 28, 2016

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Authorities are investigating an officer-involved shooting in Valdosta.

The Valdosta Police Department says around 6 p.m. Wednesday, an officer responded to the 1600 block of Fresno Street in the Forrest Meadows neighborhood for a reported domestic disturbance.

Witnesses tell us that they came outside after hearing a commotion and say they saw a man holding a female police officer in a headlock. Witnesses say the man was tased but continued resisting arrest. Witnesses say the suspect then came towards the female officer wielding a knife and was shot multiple times. Officials have not yet confirmed these witness reports.

Officials have confirmed that a man was shot and taken to the hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Valdosta Police Department and the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene.

GBI is leading the investigation at this time.

The officer involved in the shooting was taken to the Valdosta Police Department to be questioned by the GBI.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.