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Man shot by DEA agent denies threatening or having gun

Trayvon Johnson denies claims by investigators
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Posted at 11:01 AM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 18:50:39-04

BEACHWOOD, OH — The man shot by a DEA agent on Cleveland's East Side on April 14 denied threatening that agent or having a gun when he was shot outside his East 82nd Street home.

Trayvon Johnson spoke publicly for the first time since the shooting during a news conference with his family and attorney Stanley Jackson of The Cochran Firm Tuesday.

"I don't know how you feel like I was a threat, I was on my way home," said Johnson.

The shooting happened on April 14, around 3:50 p.m. near East 82nd Street and Decker Avenue.

According to Cleveland Municipal Court records, a DEA agent was sitting in a parked vehicle when a black SUV pulled up in front and two men got out of it. One of the men, later identified as Johnson, allegedly "brandished a firearm by lifting his shirt with his left hand displaying a black and silver firearm which was in the front of his waistband as he walked directly towards" the agent's vehicle.

Court documents said the agent felt threatened and "exited his vehicle, fired his service weapon and retreated to the rear of his vehicle."

Johnson was struck by gunfire. He was later transported to a nearby hospital and underwent surgery. Court records state a loaded 9mm handgun was found at the scene of the shooting.

But Johnson and his attorney denied the 20-year-old had a gun at the time.

"I wasn't doing nothing wrong," said Johnson. "I was on my way home."

Jackson said video released from a nearby school disproves initial claims by investigators that the agent exchanged gunfire.

"The video doesn't lie," said Jackson. "You see what you see. Unfortunately, we found out DEA agents lie and other agents, they lie."

Johnson said he approached the agent's unmarked SUV, trying to determine who was inside.

Johnson's brother said he watched it all from the family's front porch.

LaDon Johnson said the agent sat in front of the family's home for about 20 minutes and never identified himself.

"I didn't know who you were," said LaDon Johnson. "Previously we've had drive-by shootings in that area and it's not safe in that area, especially when cars sit in that area and they communicate with each other and they come through shooting."

Jackson said his client has 40 stitches and eight staples in his stomach where he was shot.

Johnson said he considers it a miracle that he survived, but said he's in pain every day.

Jackson called it a case of shoot first, ask questions later by the DEA agent.

"Justice is the officer being charged," said Jackson. "Nothing less."

So far, the only person charged in the case is Johnson.

He's accused of carrying a concealed weapon and menacing.

In a statement, a DEA spokesperson said, "DEA is fully cooperating with the investigating agency, the Cleveland Division of Police and it would be inappropriate to comment at this time."

RELATED: Man who allegedly brandished firearm and was shot by DEA agent arraigned in court

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