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Video released after cop cleared in killing of suspect high on PCP

The suspect was stabbing a man repeatedly when the officer shot him


By PoliceOne Staff

LUFKIN, Texas – Video captured an officer firing four shots at a man who was stabbing another man. 

According to the Lufkin Daily News, body camera footage of the deadly officer-involved shooting was released after a grand jury concluded the use of force was justified. 

Officer Blake Witherspoon responded to reports of a stabbing in progress March 1. When he arrived, 40-year-old Epthen Johnson was on top of another man, stabbing him repeatedly. 

 
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED (GRAPHIC CONTENT): Officer-involved ...

VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED (GRAPHIC CONTENT): Today an Angelina County Grand Jury no billed a Lufkin Police officer in the March 1 shooting death of an aggravated assault suspect. In the name of transparency, we are releasing this video to the public today as it is no longer considered evidence by the Angelina County District Attorney’s Office. This video has not been edited or blurred and contains foul language and graphic images of lethal force.

Posted by Lufkin Police Department on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Johnson ignored commands to show his hands and continued to stab the victim. Witherspoon, recognizing the signs of PCP intoxication, determined a TASER would not be effective against the suspect and fired three shots. 

After Johnson continued to make stabbing motions, a fourth shot was fired, which ended the assault.

Johnson died as a result of his injuries. A toxicology report later found PCP and marijuana in his system.

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