More than two months after Lawton Police Department officers shot and killed Zonterius “Zon” Johnson outside his 24th birthday party, a recently released autopsy report reveals he was shot twice in the chest and once in the foot. It was a homicide, according to Oklahoma Medical Examiner Leonardo Roquero, M.D.
The Black Wall Street Times previously reported that officers were performing compliance checks throughout the night at Lavish Lounge, a newly opened Black-owned social club on January 17. Ultimately, LPD chased and gunned down Zonterius Johnson near 11th and Park. Johnson, along with most of the patrons, was out in the parking lot preparing to go home.
Officers claim they were responding to shots fired before chasing Zonterius down an alley and firing on him. They also claim he turned toward them as if to shoot them. The Forensics team’s report has not yet been released.
Johnson’s mother calls out KSWO’s reporting
KSWO was quick to highlight the toxicology report, which indicated Johnson had trace amounts of alcohol and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death. His alcohol level was 0.05, well below the legal limit despite just coming from a party. And the 0.09 mcg/mL traces of methamphetamine hardly point to someone experiencing a drug episode.
That didn’t stop KSWO from highlighting what was in his system without providing context in a broadcast Monday night after asking Meyoshia Gray, Johnson’s mother, for the autopsy report.
“If they were gonna say something they could’ve at least said it was below the legal limit,” Gray told the Black Wall Street Times regarding the alcohol found in Johnson’s blood. “If you looked at his autopsy he had congestion in his throat. He also had Corona. He was taking Mucinex for the congestion. But I’ll tell you whatever he had in his system, it did not warrant his death.”
LPD holding on to body cam footage with a death grip
The autopsy report confirmed the congestion. “The right and left lungs weighed 263 gms and 294 gms, respectively. There was congestion in the parenchyma,” the report read.
Despite the release of the report, LPD has maintained they will not release any body cam footage. They’re waiting until Comanche County District Attorney Fred C. Smith determines whether the shooting was justified, according to KSWO.
Meanwhile, Meyoshia Gray, Johnson’s mother, also claimed that a man who was recently apprehended by LPD for shooting at the Lavish Lounge this past weekend, is the same man who was shooting at Zonterius on January 17, causing him to flee and police to chase him.
Did LPD chase the wrong man on January 17?
26-year-old Errick “Active” Sheppard was booked into the Comanche County Jail on Saturday after shooting multiple people at the Lavish Lounge. It technically constitutes a mass shooting. But, like most mass shootings carried out by or against Black Americans, no national media covered it.
“This is the same guy that was shooting at Zonterius that night. That’s the reason Zonterius was running for his life,” Gray said. Although Lawton Police Department officers punctured his lungs with the shots that entered his chest, Zonterius died at the hospital, according to the M.E.’s report.
Bystanders on the scene that night, however, have questioned the time it took for ambulances to arrive on scene. Darezanae Porter is Johnson’s girlfriend and the mother of his children. She witnessed officers storm the parking lot and chase Zonterius. She said it took ambulances more than thirty minutes to arrive. “I don’t know why it took so long but it took a while,” Porter told the Black Wall Street Times.
Officials weighing criminal charges for officer who killed Zonterius
As the District Attorney’s Office weighs criminal charges, it’s worth noting that Oklahoma has begun to see more officers charged for police brutality and murder in recent months. Oklahoma City District Attorney David Prater recently charged five police officers in the death of Stavian Rodriquez.
The Black Wall Street Times reached out to Lawton Mayor Stan Booker and the Comanche County District Attorney’s Office for an update. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment, however, we will update this story if they do.
“I want to see the body cam. I’m just tired,” Zonterius Johnson’s mother said. “I really need to see the body cam because I need clarification. And for them to keep hiding that body cam, it’s making things look very suspicious on their end.”
To read the Medical Examiner’s report click: here
(Editor’s note: This report previously stated that the ME did not find any gunpowder on Mr. Johnson’s hand. The ME didn’t test for it on his hands as there were no wounds there. The forensics team, however, did find fingerprints matching Mr. Johnson to a Taurus 9mm found on the scene. We apologize for the error.)