Lufkin, TX - Lufkin police department released video who shows a zombie-like man, Epthen Johnson, crouched over another man while stabbing him. The video shows that the suspect was completely unfazed by the officers presence, and ignored the first volley of bullets which entered his body (video below.)
The video starts with the dispatch audio, and demonstrates part of what our dispatchers have to deal with. While the caller used profanity with the dispatcher and called her a "dumb f--k," he initially refused to provide any details on the incident besides the location. Because of the uncooperative caller, officers weren't fully aware what they were going into when they arrived.
In the video you can see the suspect, Epthen Johnson, crouched over his victim like something out of The Walking Dead, stabbing at his victim. Johnson refused commands, and the officer had to shoot Johnson several times to get him to stop stabbing the victim. Amazingly, even after being repeatedly shot, Johnson didn't even flinch and continued to stab at his victim until one well-placed fatal shot ended the attack.
Lufkin Police Department released a statement detailing the incident:
A Lufkin Police officer has been no billed in the March shooting death of an aggravated assault suspect.
The incident involving 6-year veteran Officer Blake Witherspoon was presented to the grand jury today, resulting in a no bill. A "no bill" means the grand jury concluded that Witherspoon acted appropriately in the line of duty and that they saw no grounds to indict him on a criminal charge.
Epthen Johnson, 40, of Lufkin, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of March 1 in the 400 block of Kurth Drive following an urgent call to 911 from a witness who saw Johnson attacking a man. The caller, who became somewhat belligerent and cussed the dispatcher, described the scene as a man being "knifed to death."
The officer arrived to see Johnson crouched on top of the man, stabbing and cutting at his head and neck. The officer gave multiple commands of "let me see your hands." Johnson did not acknowledge the officer's presence and continued stabbing at the man. Recognizing the signs of PCP intoxication, the officer did not believe a Taser would be an effective tool instopping Johnson's attack.
The officer fired three shots, but Johnson continued making stabbing motions at the man's throat. Believing the man was in mortal danger, the officer then fired a fourth shot, ending the attack.
Johnson's toxicology report confirmed that he was high on PCP and marijuana at the time of the attack.
The witness who reported the incident later dialed 911 again and apologized for his language, saying "the cop had to shoot the one dude who was stabbing him."
Police Chief Gerald Williamson thanked the grand jury for their service.
"Grand juries are a vitally important part of our criminal justice system - one more component that ensures our citizens are the ones making the ultimate judgment when deadly force is used," Williamson said.
"It is clear to me in this circumstance that the grand jury was diligent and thoughtful and made the appropriate determination," Williamson continued. "An officer's desire is always to save life and prevent injury, but a sad reality is that We sometimes have to take lethal action to preserve or protect the lives of others."
Witherspoon, who had been reassigned to the criminal investigations division pending grand jury per department policy, will return to patrol next Week.
The stabbing victim, Jose Isabel Rodriguez, survived the attack by grabbing at the knife, resulting in deep wounds to his hands. He also suffered stab wounds near his belly button, his left eye, and cuts on his neck. He is expected to make a full recovery.
The video starts with the 911 audio, and you can skip ahead for the video section. WARNING - Graphic content and language: