In a very unusual move, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger spoke out in harsh terms regarding the murder/suicide in Germantown on Tuesday.
“We had a homicide up in Germantown. A homicide that should not have occurred. A murder that absolutely could have and should have been prevented,” said Manger as he spoke to reporters in front of Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg.
He spoke about the murder of Shakina Perkins-Moody, 34, of 18200 block of Smoke House Court Germantown, who was shot and killed by a person police believe was her husband Johnnie Perkins, 42, on Tuesday at the Washingtonian Gas Station at the corner of Germantown Road and Route 355.
Police say Johnnie Perkins was sitting with Shakina Perkins-Moody in the Cadillac Escalade, as Mrs. Perkins 16-year-old daughter was paying for and pumping gas. The couple got into an argument, and Perkins shot Perkins-Moody.
MCPD spokesman Capt. Paul Starks told Fox5 News that after the first shot had shattered the driver’s side window, the daughter opened the driver’s side door to see what happened and saw her mother and immediately ran away from the vehicle.
An off-duty Montgomery County Police Officer, who was at the Germantown AutoSpa in his marked police cruiser, approached Perkins. It was at this time the Perkins turned the gun on himself, shooting himself in the head.
Chief Manger addressed reporters on Wednesday evening calling for changes in the criminal justice system. “When I learned that the perpetrator, in this case, was Mr. Perkins I was reminded that just less than three years ago, Mr. Perkins was the main target of a year-long drug investigation in Damascus Gardens. In fact, Mr. Perkins was convicted of two narcotics distribution counts and was originally sentenced to serve ten years in prison. Less than three years later Mr. Perkins was back in our community and one the street.”
Chief Manger told reporters that less than a month ago, on July 12, Montgomery County Police stopped Perkins while he was driving up I-270 and driving erratically. Perkins was arrested for DUI. When his vehicle was searched, the officer found drugs and a loaded handgun.
“Mr. Perkins was not held in jail on those charges, he was released,” said Manger. “Johnnie Perkins spent less than three years incarcerated after being sentenced to 10 years. This individual has had an extensive criminal record since 1992, involving guns, drugs, assaults and a variety of violent offenses. There is no reason that he should have been on the street committing a murder. This a man who has demonstrated for over 20 years that he is a violent offender, a repeat offender, and should have been behind bars for the safety of our community. Had he been behind bars, where he should have been, this murder would not have occurred.”
“This homicide was absolutely preventable,” said Manger.
“I think the public has every question to ask the question, why was Johnnie Perkins not behind bars? With the extent of his criminal record, with the extent of his criminal activity, with the convictions that he had, with the sentences that he has received; why in the last month were there two instances where we know for a fact that he had a handgun with him. Those are questions that absolutely need to be answered,” said Manger.
Chief Manger even spoke about how yesterday’s events could have been much worse had that off-duty officer not been so close to the crime scene or had Perkins not turned the gun on himself.
“Anyone could have seen that this individual should not have been in the community with the history that he has had. It is very frustrating for my cops putting their lives on the line --- We had an off-duty officer put his life on the line, as he approached this individual. It could have been a gun fight between my off-duty officer and Mr. Perkins, but Mr. Perkins decided to end his own life, but it could have been very different. That homicide should have never occurred in the first place.”
“I am not here to point fingers at anybody, any one person, or any segment of the criminal justice system,” said Manger, “but I will tell you that every part of the criminal justice system needs to look at these kinds of cases and ask themselves how can we do better? How can we help keep our communities safer?”