[WATCH] Sevier County Deputy Suffered Panic Attack While Armed, Opens Fire in Mobile Home Park, Couple Charged With Causing it

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn., — A Sevier County Sheriff’s Office deputy opened fire without warning in a mobile home park, suffered an apparent panic attack four minutes later and was forcibly disarmed by a paramedic, body camera footage shows.

Deputy Justin Johnson did not mention the panic attack in his report on the December 2016 incident, and he remains on active duty, court records show.

Brian Keith Mullinax, 41, and his girlfriend, Tina Carrie Jo Cody, 37, spent 42 days in jail on felony charges, accused of causing what was described in court statements as a “panic attack” and which a detective called “some type of cardiac event.” They remain under prosecution on misdemeanor charges, court records show.

A spokesman for Sevier County Sheriff Ron “Hoss” Seals did not return a phone message. It’s not clear from court records whether the sheriff’s office conducted an internal investigation, ordered psychological testing for Johnson, or required him to undergo counseling or additional training.

Cody was unarmed and being held on the ground by Johnson and paramedic Blake Gregg when Johnson fired four shots toward a set of mobile homes, paused and fired three more, the video obtained by the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee showed. He ran away from Cody and Gregg toward Sharp Road.

“Shots fired,” he told dispatchers. “We need help.”

Four minutes later, Johnson was kneeling over Cody, who had remained on the ground, with his gun still in his hand when the video showed he began hyperventilating and running backward away from the mobile homes and Cody.

Paramedic Michael O’Connor ran toward Johnson.

“Pull it together,” O’Connor told Johnson. “Look at me.”

Johnson continued to hyperventilate while pointing his gun toward Cody, Gregg and the mobile homes.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3206 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Rob W
  • Rob W

    Holy shit, this guy’s still a deputy? Wow…

  • LawrenceNeal

    Panic Attack? More like a psychotic episode. And a MEDIC pointing a gun at people? Where was this?

  • crazytrain2

    That is what a panic attack looks, and sounds like. Damn good work by the paramedic to defuse the situation. That deputy needs to be in treatment and medicated. There is definitely a stigma attached to police officers seeking counseling and/or medication for mental health issues. They are terrified that they will lose their jobs and/or not be trusted by their co-workers. This deputy had a brief foot chase and struggle with that classy babe, then whether or not the subject came out with a gun, the deputy fired multiple rounds in the guy’s direction. The combination of the physical activity(heart rate up, breathing labored causing a lack of oxygen+ maybe a heart issue) with the shots fired cause this deputy to have a panic attack. My guess is that was his first.

    So what happens now? Let’s say the guy did have a gun and the shots fired was justified, you still have that deputy having a full on panic attack-is he fit for duty? The panic attack alone should not cause a law enforcement officer to lose their job or be forced to take disability, provided they seek treatment. Again, that stigma prevents many officers from seeking help for the reasons I listed above. That needs to change. That stress reaction is normal, but not everyone has a panic attack. Being honest, I had one about ten years ago while on duty. It wasn’t a stressful call or anything and had nothing to do with work, but I had trouble breathing and my vision began to black out. I went home sick and as I was walking to my car, I just could not get enough air. My heart was racing and I barely made it to my car. I thought I was having a heart attack. Went to the hospital and was admitted. I had an irregular heartbeat and ended up having a virus that made me throw up. But it was a terrible feeling, now combine that with a stressful call and it would suck terribly.

  • Sweet

    This is just sad. It shows how completely out of control LEOs are and I feel for this poor man, who clearly thought he was going to die. Whether or not it turns out to be the reality of the situation doesn’t matter. That’s what he thought and he lost control. The speculation as to why LEOs are using excessive and deadly force at alarming rates is shown right here: they are flipping out and need more training, counseling and better services available to them. It should not just be hey, here’s a gun, take control. Clearly that tack is no longer working. LEOs have higher rates of steroid abuse and domestic violence. Is there any wonder why? When they work a job where a normal individual has a reaction like this man’s panic attack, then it’s only the hardest heads or psychotics who are left standing and able to deal with the stressful work. How some deal with it is channelong their rage into abuse. This is just sad all around. Hoping that this viral video helps prompt a change to come from within law enforcement departments themselves. There is one dept in Utah that gave extra sensitivity training and training in better ways to diffuse situations and alternatives to deadly force. They’ve had stellar results with fewer deaths. That model needs to go nationwide.