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Shooting started with drug deal

By Ed Brock

A robbery that ended with a multi-car accident and a suspect on the run began with an attempted drug deal, police say.

Paul Parkinson, 25, of Jonesboro was in court Thursday, facing multiple charges including aggravated assault, weapons charges and theft by taking in connection with the late Wednesday afternoon incident. The victim in the case, 23-year-old Roy Johnson of Jonesboro, was recovering at an Atlanta hospital after being shot twice in the face after he confronted Parkinson over an attempt to buy marijuana, Clayton County Police Capt. Jeff Turner said.

The two men were sitting in Parkinson's car in the parking lot of Value City on Tara Boulevard around 5:25 p.m. and Johnson was attempting to buy four pounds of marijuana from Parkinson for $3,000. After taking Johnson's money Parkinson told him the drugs were in the trunk which he then opened, Turner said.

But there was no marijuana in the trunk, and when Parkinson began driving away Johnson jumped into the trunk. Parkinson drove to Arrowhead Boulevard, took it around to Upper Riverdale Road and circled back to the intersection of Upper Riverdale and Tara Boulevard.

When Parkinson stopped at the intersection in Upper Riverdale's eastbound lanes on the west side of the intersection, Johnson jumped out of the trunk and went around to the driver's side window to confront Parkinson. Parkinson fired at Johnson but missed, then turned and fired again through the rear windshield as Johnson ran behind the car, hitting him in the face.

Johnson ran to a nearby gas station for help. Parkinson drove into the intersection, running the light, and was hit by a pickup truck that knocked him into another vehicle, incapacitating Parkinson's car. Parkinson got out and ran to a wooded area behind the Holiday Inn on Old Dixie Road where a police dog later sniffed him out.

Parkinson received several bites from the dog before being taken into custody. His arm was still wrapped in bandages Thursday as Magistrate Court Chief Judge Daphne Walker told him that he would be denied bond on the aggravated assault charge and therefore would not be able to bail out of jail.

After the incident Parkinson told television news reporters to "Get me a good lawyer." On Thursday he told Walker he wasn't sure if he would be able to get his own lawyer and Walker instructed him on how to apply from jail for a court-appointed lawyer. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 14.

Originally Johnson told police that he was shopping at Value City when Parkinson robbed him and forced him into the trunk. He also said he found an emergency release latch and used it to open the trunk.

Turner said investigators were re-interviewing Johnson on Thursday but no charges had yet been filed against him.