Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Crimes Against Children Unit
Patrol Operations Bureau
-Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF)
-Strategic Enforcement Section (SES)
Gregory J. Johns (Deceased Wanted Suspect)
Last Known Address: Safety Harbor
Deputy Claudio Dimundo
Hire Date: 01/22/2007
Deputy Eric Turner
Hire Date: 08/24/2009
Deputies opened fire on a wanted suspect after the suspect charged them with a knife. The suspect is dead.
The suspect was wanted for sexual battery on an 11-year-old girl (See release on Media-Alert dated August 31, 2012). The suspect was also sought in connection with two other felonies (St. Petersburg PD): the false imprisonment of a 78-year-old woman on August 28th, 2012; and the robbery of a couple at knife point in Vinoy Park on August 29th, 2012 .
The deputy involved shooting occurred at about 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 1, 2012.
The deputy involved shooting occurred at the Trails End Motel and Apartments located at 11500 Gulf Boulevard in Treasure Island.
According to detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit, the 11-year-old sexual battery victim began complaining about stomach pains and was taken to a local hospital during the late hours of August 27, 2012. The girl was taken to the hospital by her mother and the suspect, 42-year-old Gregory Johns. By the early morning hours of the 28th, tests determined that the girl was pregnant.
Detectives say that when this information came to light, Johns became visibly upset- asked the child’s mother for the car keys to get some cigarettes – but instead fled from the hospital and did not return.
The crime was reported to law enforcement and detectives from the Crimes Against Children Unit began their investigation (Aug. 28). Through their investigation detectives learned that the suspect had sexually battered the 11 year-old girl on as many as three occasions during the month of June of 2012.
Detectives began searching for the suspect and obtained a warrant for his arrest for Capital Sexual Battery on a child under 12.
During the early morning hours of September 1, 2012 – detectives received information that Johns was at a hotel along the beach – on Gulf Boulevard between the Madeira Beach Causeway and Central Avenue.
Deputies went to every hotel along the stretch searching for the suspect. He was finally located at the very last hotel checked – The Trails End Motel in Treasure Island, room 224.
Deputies isolated and approached the door. Based on the arrest warrant, deputies knocked at the door and issued commands for the suspect to exit the room. The suspect refused to comply with any commands issued. Deputies used entry tools in order to make a forceful entry into the room. Deputies say that once inside, Johns had retreated and locked himself in the bathroom. As deputies were about to make entry into the bathroom, the suspect charged the deputies with a knife. Two deputies, Claudio Dimundo and Eric Turner opened fire on the suspect. The suspect is dead.
As is standard procedure in deputy involved shootings, both Deputy Dimundo and Deputy Turner have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is conducted.
Further details about the St. Petersburg false imprisonment case and the armed robbery, should be directed to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
The investigation continues.