EXCLUSIVE: Father grieves son's death after officer involved shooting

EXCLUSIVE: Father grieves son's death after officer involved shooting
Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress (Source: WALB)
Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress (Source: WALB)
(WALB image)
(WALB image)

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Johnny Lozano was killed in September when investigators said that he lunged at a Valdosta Police officer Alyssa Shirey with a knife, and his family is grieving the loss of their son.

His father said he knows Johnny made some mistakes, but doesn't understand why he had to die.

Servando Lozano walked into a now empty home, looking around at what was his son's room.  A place that was once home to many happy memories, now a reminder of one of the worst days of his life.

"We've had great times here, and well, he went first," said Servando. "The police officer take the wrong decision to kill him."

"My officer kept backing up, backing up, backing up, and at some point this guy pulls out a knife," explained Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

According to reports, Officer Shirey was responding to a child custody dispute call. The GBI said that Johnny attacked his daughter's mother, and Shirey stepped in to help.

Investigators then say Shirey shot Johnny when he lunged at her with a knife.

Servando said that he knows his son acted inappropriately, but said he was just upset about his daughter being moved away.  "He showed the knife, but he never attacked her,"said Servando. "He was very frustrated. He was very angry."

Servando believes there could have been a better way to handle the situation.

He said he wished the officer would have tried different ways to control the situation, like pepper spray.   "I do not believe it was necessary to kill my son."

Johnny was tased, but was still able to get back up.

Childress said the officer did everything she could. "My officer, in this case, did everything she could do to avoid shooting the guy," explained Childress.

Childress said he understands the family is grieving, but is standing by his officer.  "I hugged them, and grieved with them, even though I believe my officer was totally justified in this case, they still lost their son," said Childress.

Now, Servando flips through pages of memories and hopes pictures will be how his son is remembered.

Servando said his son just wanted to be able to see his daughter more.

He also hopes this will bring to light child custody problems he said Georgia fathers face in custody matters.

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