Deputy Justin Johnson of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office evidently had a panic attack four minutes into an armed standoff. A paramedic was forced to take the gun away from Johnson to continue to hold off the suspect. The deputy failed to mention the panic attack in his official report of the incident, but bodycam footage captured the truth.
The incident started when paramedics called police to come to 794 Sharp Road where a ” morbidly obese female” had fallen and complained that her landlord’s daughter, and Tina Cody, 37, had stolen her purse, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
Cody was still on scene, but after the deputy arrived, Cody climbed through a fence and tried to run. The deputy caught her and as medics helped him hold Cody down, he heard a male voice.
“I heard a male voice coming from a short distance behind me shout, ‘I’ve got a gun, (expletive),’” Johnson wrote in his report. “I turned to notice (a suspect) pacing wildly on the porch of a nearby mobile home and then squat while aiming an object at me that appeared to be a firearm in his hand. I immediately discharged my weapon.”
Deputy Johnson fired four shots toward the mobile homes. He paused and fired three more shots. He then ran away from Cody and Gregg toward a road.
“Shots fired,” he said to dispatchers as he ran. “We need help.”
Four minutes later, Deputy Johnson was kneeling over Cody with his gun still in his hand. Deputy Johnson began to run backwards away from Cody. Paramedic Michael O’Connor approached Deputy Johnson and told him to, “Pull it together.”
Deputy Johnson continued to hyperventilate and O’Connor eventually took his weapon away from him.
“Give me your gun,” O’Connor repeated as he took it out of Deputy Johnson’s hand while the officer was hyperventilating. “Let go of it.”
The paramedic held the officer’s gun on Cody as he reassured Deputy Johnson they had the situation under control and everything was OK. About 90 seconds later, Deputy Johnson said, “I’m OK. I’m OK.”
The paramedic then gave Deputy Johnson his gun back. Court records show that Mullinax had a cell phone and yelled at Johnson as he was filming the deputy.
Brian Mullinax, 41, and Tina Cody, 37, were arrested on felony charges, accused of causing the “panic attack” through their assault, according to court documents.
It was called “some type of cardiac event” by a detective and the court dropped the felony charges. Cody remains charged with resisting arrest and Deputy Johnson remains on active duty, according to court records.