Editor’s note: This news conference took place on Sunday, March 27 at 6:30 p.m.

UPDATE: 7:30 P.M. The heads of three local law enforcement agencies said Sunday they were not going to tolerate violence and crime on Panama City Beach during a weekend of troubling incidents that forced businesses to shut down and led to at least one shooting.

“The crowd that has been here this weekend, there is no words that can describe the way they have behaved themselves, conducted themselves, and the amount of laws they have broken,” said Chief J.R. Talamantez of the Panama City Beach Police Department. “We are doing the best we can to manage this situation with the resources that we have.”

Panama City Beach detained three people with guns following a shooting Sunday afternoon.

“I personally encountered an individual holding an AR15 who is now in custody,” Talamantez said.

The victim had non-life-threatening injuries and was shot in the foot, he added.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said officers and deputies had taken more than 50 guns off the streets so far.

“We have fought these battles we have won these battles and we are not going to let it happen again,” he said. “We’re not going to tolerate this again in our community and we’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The guns remain a concern.

“However, we have a lot of people in town that have guns and we’re doing the best that we can to remove those guns,” Talamantez said.

He added that an officer was cut in the head and receiving medical treatment after he was struck by a beer bottle that was thrown at him. Video of the incident was widely circulated on social media.

“He’s a little shook up,” Talamantez said. “But that’s the reality that we’re facing. These are the type of individuals that we’re facing. Throwing beer bottles at police officers. Shooting right down the road. There were blue lights up and down the road as these shootings took place. The blatant disregard for public safety that these individuals are having will not be tolerated. Period.”

Talamantez said the problem was widespread and happening in a lot of cities.

“It’s not just us,” he added. “We want to tell the group of individuals who come here for the sole purpose of causing disruption, you do it you go to jail. Period.”


PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach police are holding a news conference about the ongoing situation on the beach.

Several businesses shut down Saturday after dealing with a large and unruly crowd. Then on Sunday, a shooting was reported at Front Beach Road.

Watch the full news conference here: