Two Pinellas deputies were justified in fatally shooting a man wanted for impregnating an 11-year-old girl at a Treasure Island motel on Monday, the State Attorney's Office said today.
"I have determined that Deputy Eric Turner and Deputy Claudio Dimundo were in the lawful performance of their legal duties while they were attempting to apprehend Gregory Johns for the offense of Capital Sexual Battery," State Attorney Bernie McCabe wrote in a statement released to the media.
On Aug. 28, Johns, 42, left the Mease Countryside Hospital when it was discovered his girlfriend's 11-year-old child was pregnant. The child named Johns as the father, the office said.
The same day, Johns became the suspect in an armed robbery in Vinoy Park, then entered the home of 78-year-old female former neighbor, where he demanded money, them bound, gagged, hit her and removed her clothing. He remained in her home into the morning hours of the next day, the office said.
On Aug. 29, a warrant was issued for Johns for capital sexual battery. That same date, the mother of the sexual battery victim said she was called by Johns, who apologized for ruining his and her daughter's life, and stated he would not go back to prison and the cops would have to kill him.
Deputies received information that he was staying with a female friend in a motel on Madeira Beach or Treasure Island, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said earlier. Deputies found Johns and the friend at the Trails End Motel, 11500 Gulf Blvd.
Deputies Turner and Dimundo forced their way into Johns' room after he would not come out. They got the female friend out, then discovered Johns was hiding in the bathroom with the door locked, Gualtieri said.
Deputies ordered Johns out but he refused, Gualtieri said.
As deputies were trying to open the door to go in to arrest Johns, he came out of the bathroom and charged at them with a knife in his hands, telling the deputies he was going to kill them, Gualtieri said.
The deputies fired a total of 10 rounds, about five rounds each, Gualtieri said. Johns, who was struck eight times died at the scene.
Johns has a long criminal history of violent crimes and charges dating back to 1987.