Protesters gather at Lawton PD following Sunday shooting death, police chief releases statement

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UPDATE: Friday, January 22 at 11:45 a.m.

According to The Lawton Constitution, a crowd has gathered outside of the Lawton Police Department Friday morning to protest the officer-involved shooting death of 24-year-old Zonterious Johnson.

Lawton Police Chief James Smith released a statement with updates on the shooting.

According to the press release, Smith said at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 17, Lawton police officers were at the Lavish Lounge at 10th Street and Park Street to perform a compliance check.

Smith said a significant number of vehicles were in the parking lot and a significant number of people were inside the Lavish Lounge.

Smith said while conducting the check, officers heard shots being fired from outside the building that were not fired by Lawton Police officers.

Smith insisted that at no time did a Lawton officer fire a weapon in the building, at the building, nor did an officer fire any rubber bullet inside our outside of the building at any time.

According to an updated release, Johnson had a weapon on his person, and drew that weapon when the officer on scene encountered him.

The updated release states Johnson was directed by an officer to drop the weapon, and was facing the officer when the officer fired the initial shot.

Johnson was transported to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Smith also extended his condolences for everyone involved in the situation:

The incident that resulted in the loss of life of Zonterious Johnson on January 17 is one that our community is processing and grieving together. Under any circumstances, the loss of life is tragic for all involved. I would like to express my condolences for all involved and I would like the citizens of this community to know that the City of Lawton and the Lawton Police Department are fully committed to understanding all of the facts and circumstances leading up to this incident.

James Smith, Lawton Police Chief

Please find the statement in its entirety below:


LAWTON (KFDX/KJTL) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating an officer-involved shooting in Lawton in which one man died Sunday morning.

According to the bureau, early Sunday morning, Jan. 17, Lawton Police Department officers were conducting a bar check at Lavish Lounge on 11th Street and Park Street.

Shots were fired outside the lounge with one shot hitting the building. Officers then began a foot pursuit with an individual that lasted several blocks before more shots were fired.

Zonterious Johnson, 24, was shot and transported to a hospital in the area where he was pronounced dead.

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