The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has concluded Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies were justified when they shot to death a suspected child rapist in a Treasure Island motel room last month. In a letter sent to Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, State Attorney Bernie McCabe said the shooting of Safety Harbor resident Gregory J. Johns, 42, was a lawful use of force by officers who believed Johns posed a threat to their lives. According to the letter, Johns barricaded himself in a bathroom at the motel and yelled that he would kill a group of deputies who had come to arrest him. He then "suddenly opened the door and lunged out" with a knife. Deputies Claudio Dimundo and Eric Turner fired at Johns and hit him eight times, the state attorney's office said. Johns had been on the run for several days since learning that his girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter was pregnant. The girl told her mother that Johns had raped her, and the mother called police.
Deputies' shooting of man in motel last month is ruled justified
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