A Florida police officer was standing nearly 90 feet away from an unarmed suspect when he fired an assault rifle at his vehicle, according to newly released documents.
Orlando police officer David Johnston was indicted on two counts of firing into an occupied vehicle and discharging a weapon in public over the February incident.
Johnston and several other officers responded to a domestic violence call on Feb. 24. Derrick Lattimore, 27, allegedly knocked on a woman’s door holding a gun and threatening to kill her.
Police found Lattimore on the fifth floor of a nearby parking garage. He allegedly fled in his car and officers on the fifth floor fired a combined three shots.
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Lattimore proceeded down to the first floor, where Johnston had retrieved an AR-15 from his police cruiser and stood at a garage gate. When Lattimore reached the first floor, Johnston fired on his car, breaking his driver’s side and rear windows.
Lattimore was not injured, although there were multiple bullet holes in his head rest, according to court documents.
Surveillance video shows Johnston was 88 feet away and standing on the other side of the garage gate when he opened fire. Some of the bullets missed the car and damaged the parking structure, WESH-TV reports.
Authorities didn’t find a gun in Lattimore’s vehicle. He claims he didn’t know police were there before they started firing at him. He thought they “were trying to kill him.”
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Lattimore was charged with aggravated assault with a vehicle, resisting an officer with violence and violating a domestic violence injunction. His trial is set to begin next month.
Johnston was indicted by a grand jury and has pleaded not guilty. He is on paid alternative duty, according to the Orlando Police Department.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Cliff, WESH-TV