Many questions remain after a shooting in Panama City now almost a week ago. It happened last Thursday on the 100 block of Allen Avenue, and left one dead and three others seriously injured.
Wednesday, investigators released the name of one of the victims. They say 19-year-old Alexandra “Lexie” Elise Peck of Panama City died on scene from her injuries.
“It’s very concerning when we have people in our neighborhoods being murdered and we have no information,” said Florida’s First Amendment Foundation President Barbara Petersen.
Panama City Police arrested Michael Harrison Hunt and call him a person of interest in Thursday’s shooting in Panama City that left one dead and three others injured. Investigators said an exemption in Florida’s public records law prevents them from revealing the names of the other victims. Peterson said the identities of witnesses are protected by an exemption in the public records laws.
“The names of witnesses to murder are exempt for two years after the date in which the murder occurred,” said Petersen.
Police also noted that the address of the victim of mass violence is exempt from being released. However, it is important to note that these are your records, created by state and local agencies that are funded by your tax dollars.
“Our public records laws are designed to hold our government accountable and each year the legislature chips away at that. Currently, there are 1,122 exemptions to the constitutional right of access to records,” said Petersen.
It’s unclear at this point what connection Hunt might have to the victims. The case remains under investigation.