Bay County man charged in Panama City Beach murder

Local News

Panama City Beach Police say Hunter Smith is charged with second-degree murder.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — A Bay County man who provided drugs for an evening with two other people at a Panama City Beach apartment “woke up in an agitated state” and shot and killed another man, investigators said Wednesday.

Panama City Beach Police arrested Hunter Howard Smith, 32, and charged him with second-degree murder for a shooting incident that took place Tuesday night at an apartment complex on Evergreen Street, police said.

They added that Smith drove to the apartment complex and sold narcotics to the victim. Smith, the victim, and a female friend all used narcotics at the apartment, police said.

“Smith then fell asleep and woke up in an agitated state. Smith then recklessly displayed a 9mm handgun and the victim attempted to disarm Smith,” police wrote. “During the altercation, Smith discharged the gun, shooting the victim multiple times in the abdomen.”

They added that the victim was rushed to a local hospital and died from his injuries. The victim’s name has not been released.

Investigators said Smith left the scene and then contacted police to say he was involved in a “self-defense shooting.”

He then met police near the apartment to discuss the situation.

“As officers reviewed the evidence at the scene and during the course of interviews, officers determined the shooting did not appear to be in self-defense,” police wrote in a news release. “No other weapons were found at the scene and the female was not injured.”

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