Double Dragon robber’s killing ruled justified

By PAVEL BAILEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

pbailey@tribunemedia.net

A Coroner’s Court jury returned a finding of justifiable homicide in the police-involved killing of Elron Johnson, 17, who tried to rob the Double Dragon Restaurant on East Bay Street last year.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Lavaro Moxey, the subject of the inquest, shot and killed Johnson as he fled the restaurant on June 15, 2023. ASP Moxey was off-duty at the time and was waiting for a meal before he engaged the deceased.

 Johnson died of gunshot injuries to his torso and right leg at the Princess Margaret Hospital’s main operating theatre.

 This is the third consecutive finding of this nature, with jurors returning the same finding last month in the case of Kwondrick Lowe.

 The other two inquests this year had findings of homicide by manslaughter.

 Johnson’s sister appeared agitated after the finding and screamed “police killed my brother” as she walked away from the court.

 During the closing remarks of K Melvin Munroe, the officer’s attorney, he told the jury that witnesses of the robbery were “scared (expletive)” and worried they wouldn’t survive the ordeal.

 He noted that the deceased’s mother, Belinda Johnson, testified that the last time she saw her son was at the Boys Industrial School for three earlier armed robbery charges.

 Mr Munroe said Ms Johnson had to leave the court when she heard her son’s voice in security footage of the robbery. He claimed that she left because she knew it was true her son committed the crime and that he reneged on his promise that he wouldn’t commit robberies again.

 Mr Munroe said there was “no hope” of the deceased surrendering without force. He elaborated that the deceased met his fate because he engaged the officer who acted as trained and eliminated an armed threat to protect lives.

 The attorney asked the jury if they too would fire on an armed threat to protect themselves and others, and said if so, they should return a verdict of justifiable homicide.

 Owen Hanna, Chief Welfare Officer of the Police Staff Association, was present in court to support ASP Moxey as the finding was read.

 Acting Coroner Kara Turnquest Deveaux presided as Angelo Whitfield marshalled the evidence.