A 43-year old Villa Rica man was shot to death Tuesday by Panama City Beach, Florida, police following an altercation with officers.
Police identified him as Shawn Anthony Dumitras, and said he had a criminal history involving cases in Georgia and elsewhere, and that he was wanted by U.S. marshals for a meth charge in Tennessee.
Dumitras was killed on March 14, following an altercation with officers outside an apartment complex in Panama City Beach. Lt. Eusebio Talamantez of the Panama City Beach Police Department declined to give further details of the incident, noting that because it was an officer-involved shooting, the matter had been turned over to state’s central law agency, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Officials there also declined to give details of their investigation.
However, reports of the shooting by the Panama City News Herald state that it resulted when a resident of the apartment complex called police because he was concerned about a man passed out inside a parked automobile with the engine running.
Once police arrived, the newspaper said, the man in the car became “hostile” and fled. A foot chase ensued which ended in a gunfire, and Dumitras was killed.
An obituary for Dumitras gives his address as Villa Rica.
Capt. Keith Shaddix of the Villa Rica Police Department said that Dumitras was unknown to local police, but law enforcement sources said Dumitras had faced previous charges in Georgia. The U.S. Marshal’s office for the Northern District of Georgia said that Dumitras was being sought on a marshal’s warrant in connection with a meth charge in Greeneville, Tennessee.
According to the News Herald, a resident of the 79 West Apartments in Panama City called 911 at 11 p.m. on March 14 because he was concerned about a man who had been slouched over in the driver’s seat of a running car since about 6 p.m. The caller reported he had knocked on the car window earlier, and the man had nodded in response to the caller’s question whether he was OK.
“I just don’t want the dude to die,” the caller said, according to the newspaper account.
When police arrived at the scene and made contact with the man, he became “hostile” and fled on foot, according to the newspaper report. The officers pursued him to the parking lot of a shopping center, then to the yard of a duplex. As he allegedly tried to force his way into the back door of a residence, he was again confronted by police.
Quoting Police Chief Drew Whitman, the newspaper reported that the man was armed, but the chief declined to specify with what weapon. The man was shot by officers and was pronounced dead at the scene.
No officers were injured in the altercation, the newspaper reported, but two officers were placed on administrative leave in connection with the incident, as is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.
Whitman declined to state to the News Herald whether he thought the shooting as a justifiable use of deadly force.