Park Avenue man who reported being shot in leg actually was the gunman, police say
It turns out that a 23-year-old man who claimed he was shot in the leg by an unknown assailant on May 11 actually was injured by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, city police said.
Not only did Antoinne Julian Johnson lie about the incident, but he also gave at least two false identities to law enforcement when the incident occurred about 10:30 p.m., police said.
When officers responded to Johnson’s home at 931 Park Ave. for a shooting victim, they found Johnson in the living room with a gunshot wound to the left leg, Agent Trent R. Peacock said in an affidavit.
“There was a large-caliber revolver on the floor near Johnson,” and officers took possession of it, Peacock said.
“There was a trail of blood leading back to a Dodge van that was parked across the street. The van had blood dripping from the door,” Peacock said, adding that officers impounded the vehicle.
Police suspect that Johnson, who was admitted to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, gave false identifications because there was a bench warrant for his arrest in Lycoming County as well as in Georgia, Peacock said.
Johnson claimed he was “shot by an unknown black man someplace on Second Street in the city, but he could not provide a specific location. He claimed that the gunman dropped the gun and fled,” Peacock said.
“He claimed that he picked up the gun, got back in his van and drove home,” the investigator said of Johnson. “He said his girlfriend helped him into the house and carried the gun in for him.”
Five days after the shooting, police questioned the van’s owner, Tyrone Sapp, who said he had “loaned the vehicle to a black male he knows only as ‘Ace.’ ” When he was shown a picture of Johnson, Sapp confirmed that Johnson was the person to whom he loaned the van, Peacock said.
“There was a large amount of blood on the driver’s floor of the van. There was a large-caliber bullet hole in the plastic kick panel, just left of the parking brake,” Peacock said.
A bag of cocaine was found in the van, the agent added.
All evidence indicated that Johnson’s wound was self-inflicted, Peacock said.
When officers again questioned Johnson last Friday at the hospital, he still was claiming that, as he was walking down Second Street, “an unknown assailant fired two shots at him, striking him in the leg,”
Confronted with evidence police collected from the van, Johnson finally “admitted that he shot himself while sitting in the vehicle on Second Street. He claimed that an unknown man he knows only as “Mike,” was trying to sell him the gun. He said he did not know the gun was loaded” and that it went off as he was handling it, Peacock said.
Peacock said the gun was owned by Peter Strouse, of Watsontown, who had reported it stolen to the state police at Milton.
Johnson was arraigned late Tuesday afternoon before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on charges of illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, receiving stolen property, false reports to law enforcement, false identification to law enforcement and possession of cocaine.
He was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail.