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

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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