Charges Dropped Against Mother’s Day Piggly Wiggly Shooter

September 29, 2011

Charges have been dropped against the Atmore man who shot a Century resident outside the Davisville Piggly Wiggly on Mother’s Day.

Gary Winston Smith, 57, of Rockaway Creek Road, had been charged with aggravated battery with a firearm for the May 8,, 2011, shooting of 45-year old Garland Rodney Johnson  of Century. Now, Johnson has told prosecutors that he no longer wished to pursue criminal charges in the case.

“The possibility that it was self defense has also been raised by the defendant,” Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille told Wednesday. “The could also be the issue of insufficient evidence.”

The whole incident, authorities said, was over a woman allegedly seeing both men.

The woman and Johnson, according to a witness, were both at the Grey Goose lounge a short distance from the Piggly Wiggly about 3:30 Sunday afternoon for a “Mother’s Day drink”. The woman told deputies that she and Johnson had just pulled into the Grey Goose parking lot when they heard tires spinning from Highway 97. Johnson then, according to the woman, went to the road to look and then got back into his Nissan Altima and took off toward the Piggly Wiggly. A short time later, according to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, Johnson called the woman on her cell phone and said, “He just shot me.” He told her he was “At the Pig” and had been shot in the stomach.

Smith told deputies he went to the Piggly Wiggly to get a steak to grill for his dinner. He said he observed Johnson get out of his Nissan Altima before he “charged” at him. Smith admitted to deputies that he reached into his pocket, pulled out a .22 caliber revolver, pointed it a Johnson and told him to stop. Smith said Johnson did not have anything in his hands, but came at him in an aggressive manner. Smith said Johnson stated that he was not scared of the gun and that “he was going to beat his brains in,” according to the Sheriff’s Office report.

Smith (pictured) told deputies that he shot Johnson in the stomach from about three feet away because he feared Johnson was going to “beat him up”. He also told deputies that he hoped Johnson would be okay.

When deputies arrived at the Piggly Wiggly after the shooting, they found Smith standing at the rear of his Mustang, which was parked along the sidewalk outside the store. His revolver was on the ground about three to four feet away. He was placed into custody without incident.

Deputies found Johnson inside the store, shot in the stomach with an exit wound in his back. He was transported by LifeFlight to Baptist Hospital and later recovered.

Smith’s brother-in-law told deputies he was about 20 yards away when he observed another man approach Smith, and it appeared the two men were arguing. The witness said the man got into Smith’s face, before stepping back and being shot.

Employees inside the Piggly Wiggly told deputies that they heard the gunshot before Johnson walked in the door and sat down on a bench. Store employees then called 911. Two of the employees told deputies that after the shooting, they observed Smith pacing with a gun in one hand and talking on this cell phone outside the store. Smith’s sister told deputies the two men had been feuding for the past few months.

For a photo gallery from the scene, click here.

Pictured top: A Century  man was shot just outside the Piggly Wiggly on Highway 97 in Davisville on May 8. Pictured inset: This exclusive photo shows Gary Winston Smith of Atmore being arrested in connection with the shooting. Pictured below: The victim, Garland Rodney Johnson of Century, was transported by LifeFlight to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola. photos, click to enlarge.


7 Responses to “Charges Dropped Against Mother’s Day Piggly Wiggly Shooter”

  1. monica on October 5th, 2011 3:15 pm

    my friends and family go to the goose and i have you to know that they are not low lives…what ppl do after they leave the goose is their business i hate that it happen and a day that we celebrate our mother and glad that No one is hurt but you leave the dart players out of it

  2. Interested on September 29th, 2011 8:32 am

    This whole incident was a terrible thing to have happen at a public grocery
    store on a day set aside to honor you Mothers.
    I have mixed fillings about this outcome, but I am very glad the man who was shot
    will be alright. I believe it was probably self defense, but on the other hand
    everyone involved was looking for trouble in my estimation.

    DHG ,,,
    Some women like two men fighting over them in front of the whole town.
    They think everyone feels they must really be something if two men are
    willing to kill each other over her. They feel very powerful and desired.

    I’m not saying that is what led up to this, but there are certainly two schools
    of thought over these things , and the women they fight over.

    I was wondering why if there were animosity between these two and even
    a brother of one was at the pig. Why would a woman want to go have
    a mothers day drink where they could clearly be seen by the whole town.

    Why not have a mothers day drink some where else, or why not just
    not going drinking to celebrate mothers day? I used to actually go
    do something for MY MOTHER on mothers day, but then that’s the
    way my thoughts run on a holiday (FAMILY).

  3. David Huie Green on September 29th, 2011 5:13 am

    Helen of Troy was reputed to have the face that launched a thousand ships, leading to the Trojan War. Most likely she was just the excuse both sides used to fight. Could be similar here.

  4. ernestine roberts on September 29th, 2011 4:45 am

    That kind of life style…I used to go to the bar there..all the comes to that place is lowlife…

  5. mary on September 29th, 2011 4:41 am

    Dropped charges?? AND we all wonder why things like this continue….

  6. omrbh on September 29th, 2011 3:55 am

    Should have been a non-issue all along and Smith should never have been arrested. What would you have done in Smith’s situation? I can guarantee you most of us would not have allowed someone to harm us and would use whatever means necessary to protect ourselves.

  7. 429SCJ on September 29th, 2011 2:17 am

    All this trouble over a woman at their age. Seems like old times and old fools, at the line.