Shooting and arson cases lead to arrests

The Gulf County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in connection with a suspected arson in Howard Creek after a house fire broke out early in the morning on Monday, Nov. 29.

One of the home’s residents had been arrested in a non-fatal shooting that occurred the day before.

Tommy Glenn Smith, 70, was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon in the assault, which happened shortly after midnight.

“Investigators grew suspicious and suspected the fire was intentionally set. As the investigation continued a suspect in the case was identified,” read a release from GCSO. “Investigators developed probable cause and obtained an arrest warrant for Billy Milton Johnson, 58. Johnson was arrested last night in the 200 block of Roberts Cemetery Road in Honeyville for arson.”

The person was shot in the leg and has been released from hospital, but is back home now,” said Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison. “But the person that actually shot him, the following night, his house was burned, and we’ve been working on the arson investigation and have someone in custody and on that.”

Both offenses occurred in the 6800 block of Bass Street in Howard Creek.

No injuries were reported in the fire, however, the home was a total loss.

Johnson was transported to the Gulf County Detention Facility where he remains in custody. Smith was released on November 30 after he posted bond.

This report will be updated as more information becomes available.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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