Orlando, FL — The Orlando police department fired one of their own on Friday after an internal investigation concluded that an officer violated two department regulations when he opened fire on a fleeing man.
Officer David Johnston opened fire and squeezed off 23 rounds at a man inside a parking garage. The suspect was on the other side of iron gates, posed no threat whatsoever to Johnston, and was 90 feet away.
The entire incident was captured on surveillance cameras.
The incident began in February of 2014, as officers were responding to a call about a domestic disturbance. According to the report, officers found the suspect, Derrick Lattimore, sitting in a Pontiac on the fifth floor of the City View garage. When confronted, they said, he allegedly sped off toward Officer Anthony Watts, who found himself trapped and opened fire, as did another officer.
According to the Joint Homicide Investigative Team report, Watts and Officer Alexander Kipp fired three shots combined.
Neither of the officers were injured and they were no longer in danger when Johnston decided to open fire, according to the report. Lattimore was headed toward the exit of the parking garage when Johnston opened fire.
Johnston admitted to not being able to see the suspect as he fired at the vehicle; luckily there were not children inside.
Amazingly enough, not one of the bullets hit Lattimore.
Johnston was indicted by a grand jury last August and pleaded not guilty. He is facing the following charges: shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a gun in public.
In February of this year, Johnston’s defense attorney, David Bigney asked the judge to throw out the charges against his client citing that Johnston feared for his life.
The judge obviously saw the absurdity in such a claim and refused to throw the charges out, saying, “One unjustified shot, is one shot too many.”
“Considering the fact that the exit gates were completely closed, the vehicle was disabled and you could not see the suspect, your use of deadly force in this instance was not objectively reasonable,” read Johnston’s termination letter.
Johnston has been on paid leave since August until he was fired this week.