Officer cleared in Comanche Co. shooting; bodycam footage released

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Family of Zonterious Johnson speaks out

CONTENT WARNING: Video shows content some viewers may find disturbing.

LAWTON (KFDX/KJTL) — A Lawton police officer is now cleared of any wrongdoing by the Comanche County District Attorney’s office in the fatal shooting of a man in January.

The family of Zonterious Johnson has dealt with a multitude of loss even before his death.

Johnson’s uncle died last January from lung cancer and his aunt was buried five days before his 24th birthday which sadly turned out to be his last.

On January 17, around 3:30 a.m., Lawton Police officers conducted a compliance check at Lavish Lounge where Johnson was having his birthday party.

Suddenly, shots were fired.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s report says Johnson and another individual were shooting at each other. Johnson then ran and ended up in a dark alley chased by officer Nathan Ronan.

The report says Johnson raised and produced the barrel of his weapon despite Ronan commanding him to drop the weapon.

Footage appears to show after Ronan’s command, Johnson reached into his pants but never raised his hands or a gun.

“They said my son pointed a gun and that they asked him to drop it three times. He ain’t even point no gun,” Johnson’s mother Meyoshia Gray said.

“Everything I feel like they said was a lie. I feel like if any of this was gonna be like it is, it could’ve came out a week after they killed my son. They didn’t have to wait,” Gray added.

The report also says Johnson’s fingerprint was found on his weapon and seven cartridge casings were identified as being fired by Johnson’s weapon.

After the Comanche County District Attorney’s office cleared Ronan of any wrongdoing, Johnson’s family says they won’t stop fighting for him.

“And then for them to come out today and say they cleared the officer for it, I’m very hurt, I am,” Gray said.

“Why you go after a man that’s on foot? He running for his life. If they were shooting at me, I would’ve ran too. I’m running for my life though. But to gun him down, you shouldn’t have did that because we not gonna fold. We gonna keep coming at you until y’all fold. So one of us gon’ have to give and it ain’t gone be the Johnson family,” Johnson’s grandfather Robert West said.

The Johnson family says they will never stop fighting for Zonterious and they hope to stop this kind of incident from happening again in Lawton.

The Johnson family has a protest planned for April 20 at 10 a.m. outside the Comanche County courthouse.


CONTENT WARNING: Video shows content some viewers may find disturbing.

CONTENT WARNING: Video shows content some viewers may find disturbing.

COMMANCHE CO. (KFDX/KJTL) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has completed its’ investigation of an officer-involved shooting that occurred on January 17, 2021, in Lawton.

According to a statement released by Lawton police chief James Smith, the officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Comanche County District Attorney.

During the OSBI investigation it was found that officers heard shots being fired from outside the Lavish Lounge and those shots were not being fired by Lawton Police Officers. Body cams indicated that at least ten shots were fired outside the building.

At least two officers saw victim Zonterious Johnson shooting a weapon. It was also observed that another individual near a white SUV shooting back at Johnson.

Johnson ran away from the scene and a LPD officer identified himself as Nathan Ronan and gave comands for Johnson to stop. When Johnson did not stop Ronan began pursuing Johnson.

Ronan then pursued Johnson onto Tenth Street and into a dark alley. The officer illuminated the light on his weapon and observed Johnson with a weapon. According to the report Johnson raised and produced the barrel of the weapon despite Ronan’s command to drop the weapon.

When Johnson did not drop his weapon the officer fired shots and struck Johnson twice in the chest and once in the foot.

Officers immediately rendered medical aid to Mr. Johnson, and he was transported
to Comanche County Memorial Hospital by ambulance, where he died.

Johnson’s weapon, which can be observed on the officer’s body camera, was
recovered by OSBI. The weapon was determined to be a Taurus Model 9mm with
an empty twelve-round capacity magazine. The slide was in the “locked back”
position.

It was noted that OSBI recovered seven Speer 9mm Luger spent cartridge casings outside
the Lavish Lounge that were identified as having been fired by the weapon
recovered from Johnson.

OSBI also recovered a fired bullet inside the Lavish Lounge which was determined to be consistent with bullets typically loaded in 9mm Luger cartridges.

The full statement is featured below.

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