Clearwater shooting suspect faces first degree murder charge after victim dies

Posted at 1:39 PM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 19:13:50-05

UPDATE | A 29-year-old Clearwater man on the run now faces a first degree murder charge in the shooting death of a roommate.

La'Mel Johnson has been on the run since Saturday, when Johnson's roommate, Michael Rackard, was shot at the apartment they shared at 124 N. Jefferson Ave. of Clearwater. Police said they fought before the shooting occurred.

Days later Clearwater police obtained an attempted second degree murder warrant for Johnson's arrest.

On Thursday, Rackard died at Bayfront Health Petersburg, where he had been hospitalized since the shooting, police said.

That led Clearwater police detectives to obtain a first degree murder warrant for Johnson. 

Police said Johnson should be considered armed and dangerous. 

ORIGINAL STORY | Clearwater police detectives are looking for a suspect wanted for attempted second-degree murder.

La'Mel Johnson, 29, is wanted in connection with a shooting Saturday morning that left a man with life-threatening injuries.

The shooting occurred at 124 N. Jefferson Ave. after the suspect and Michael Rackard, 34, got into an argument.

Johnson left the scene, and Rackard was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

Detectives have a warrant for Johnson's arrest.

He is 5'7" tall and weighs 205 pounds. He has multiple tattoos, including one that says "110 percent gangsta" on his left arm and another that says "death before dishonor" on his right arm. He also has a five-point star tattoo on his neck.

He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on Johnson's whereabouts should call the Clearwater Police Department at (727) 562-4242 or email You also can call Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County at 1-800-873-TIPS or use the TIP411 system by texting your tip and the keyword CWPD to 847411. A tip to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest could result in a cash reward of up to $3,000.



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