PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — It was like any other day at Foxwood Apartments in Panama City, just four days ahead of Christmas and 12:40 in the afternoon.
School let out early, and children took to the basketball court and playground. Residents and their friends were out and about, and the complex was full of life.
But little did they know they would soon become eye-witnesses to a murder.
“A lot of things like this usually occur in the nighttime hours, in an area that’s discreet. This was pretty blatant. It was in an apartment complex that was saturated with adults and kids,” Panama City Police Department’s Corporal Jordan Hoffman said. “You know, there was no regard for any of the citizens or anything of that nature, so.”
Alton Mills, 22, was shot in the chest on December 21, 2016. But in the time passed following the murder, no suspect has been arrested.
It’s Panama City Police Department’s most recent cold case.
“Even though we do believe there are more people that did see something, just either for whatever their reasons were afraid to come forward. It still is an active, ongoing case,” Corporal Hoffman said. “We periodically would receive a tip. We’d follow the lead. And that’s, that’s the current status of the case.”
The department has sent a review case file to the State Attorney’s Office for its review. That file is a total collection of all information and records leading up to this point.
Corporal Hoffman says there were no surveillance video cameras on the property at the time. But this particular incident has sparked community improvements, so that’s not the case anymore.
“The complex does go to extremely, especially now more than in times in the past, to ensure that there’s video, that residents who live in there are actually on the lease and that you don’t have a lot of people who don’t live there hanging around and loitering,” he said. “That’s not been the case in times in the past, but they are making strides to do that.”
The property management team, Cambridge Management, has reached out to News13 with the following response:
Our residents’ safety is our highest priority. We are grateful to the Panama City Police Department for their diligence in investigating this incident and for recognizing our efforts in improving our community’s security. We encourage our residents to reach out to law enforcement with any information that may help with the investigation.
If you saw anything, you’re asked to say something. Call the Panama City Police Department (850) 872-3112 or CrimeStoppers (850) 785-TIPS with any information you may have. You can also remain anonymous.