Barricaded suspect hiding in false wall dies after shootout with Polk deputies

LAKE ALFRED, Fla. - UPDATE | An autopsy conducted by the Polk County Medical Examiner's Office revealed the shooting death of a man hiding behind a false wall in a Lake Alfred house was not self-inflicted.

"Kevin Johnson's autopsy results are complete - according to the Medical Examiner, he died as a result of a single gunshot wound, not self-inflicted," a Polk County Sheriff's Office release issued Thursday, Feb. 23, said.

In a sheriff's office release Wednesday, Polk County officials said Johnson was hiding behind a false wall at 45 Sunset Circle in Lake Alfred when he pointed a long gun from behind the wall and fired. Three deputies on the other side of the wall returned fire.

The updated release did not say who was responsible for Johnson's death. Only that the investigation was continuing. 

Meanwhile, Polk deputies made four other arrests in association with the Kevin Johnson incident.

Casey E. Powell, 25, and June M. Johnson, 50, both of Lake Alfred, were arrested Wednesday night at 45 Sunset Circle.

Powell was charged with possession of meth, possession of paraphernalia and maintaining a structure for drug use. He was being held at the Polk County Jail on $2,000 bond. 

June M. Johnson was charged with tampering with evidence. She was being held in the Polk County Jail on $1,000 bond. 

Two others were arrested at 57 Sunset Circle.

Michael Glass, 29, of Lake Alfred, was charged with sale of meth, trafficking in meth, possession of meth with intent to sell, possession of meth, use of a vehicle for drugs, and possession of a structure for drugs. He was being held at the Polk County Jail without bond. 

Erica Barnard, 27, of Lake Alfred, was charged with possession of meth, use of a vehicle for drugs and possession of paraphernalia. She was being held in the Polk County Jail on $2,000 bond. 

After Kevin Johnson's body was removed from the house detectives completed their search and found meth, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and firearms, including two .22 caliber rifles, two shotguns, a revolver and a handgun

 

ORIGINAL STORY | A suspect exchanged gunfire with Polk County deputies Wednesday after barricading himself inside a home on Sunset Circle in Lake Alfred.

PSCO deputies were serving two search warrants for drugs around 2:00 p.m. 

During a preliminary search of the first residence, deputies took 25-year-old Casey Powell into custody on narcotics charges. 

According to Sheriff Grady Judd, during a second and more thorough search inside the house, deputies found a false wall/false room in the master bedroom. 

 "If you walk into the room and look, it looks like a solid wall," said Judd. 

Deputies tried pulling the false wall back and the suspect, hiding behind it, yanked it back and refused to come out. Deputies say he then pointed a long gun out and fired. 

Deputies shot back at 28-year-old Kevin Johnson, who was also wanted for having unlawful sex with a minor. 

"We're very blessed that we don't have one, two, or three dead deputies tonight," said Judd. 

The SWAT team used a strip of explosives to blow a hole on the side of the house, in a effort to get a better visual on the suspect. 

Investigators soon found Johnson dead inside.

"He has family that will miss him, a lot of people in the neighborhood will miss him, but for a lot of us it will be quietness," said neighbor Jackie Lewis. 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office and Medical Examiner is now investigating if the deadly shot came from their return fire or if Johnson took his own life.

"If the initial information we have is accurate, he said he was never going back to jail," said Judd. "And he's right. He's not."

The three deputies who fired their weapons were not hurt and are now on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol. 

Kevin Johnson's mother was also arrested at the scene after refusing to cooperate with deputies. According to PCSO, she threw her phone down, breaking the device, when deputies asked to look at it. She has been charged with tampering with evidence. 

 

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