The fatal shooting of a Gulf Breeze teenager by a Pensacola police officer Christmas Eve 2013 was justified, according to a report issued by the State Attorney’s Office on Thursday.
No criminal charges will be filed against Officer Chad Willhite in the death of 17-year-old William A. Goodman III, who was shot to death after leading officers on a high speed chase around the city and ramming his vehicle into a pair of patrol cars.
Investigations by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office concluded Willhite was faced with a suspect who “exhibited no indication he would obey commands of any officer,” wrote Assistant State Attorney John Molchan in the report.
The report said officers spotted Goodman driving a Corvette through the city at speeds of 80-90 mph in the early morning hours of Dec. 24. Officers reportedly initiated pursuits of the Corvette several times, but discontinued them when Goodman began to drive even more recklessly.
Goodman was eventually intercepted and stopped at the intersection of 17th Avenue and Bayfront Parkway at about 5:30 a.m. After being boxed in at the intersection and surrounded by officers, Goodman began repeatedly ramming the Corvette into the police vehicles in an attempt to escape, the report said.
When Officer Sgt. Steve Bauer was struck in the leg by the Corvette after exiting his vehicle to detain Goodman, Willhite fired into the vehicle three times and hit Goodman twice in the torso, the report said.
Goodman died shortly after being taken to a hospital. A toxicology report found that his blood-alcohol content was .13, which is over the legal limit in Florida.