Suspect offers possible motive in fatal shooting of Louisville teen in Panama City

A Louisville teenager was killed, and his stepbrother was injured in the early morning shooting.
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 12:19 AM EDT
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Christopher Lawrence Cox, 37, of Panama City Beach, faces one count of murder and one count of...
Christopher Lawrence Cox, 37, of Panama City Beach, faces one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.(Panama City Beach Police Department)
Two boys from Kentucky were shot around 1:30 a.m. (CDT) March 23, 2021 at a resort in Panama...
Two boys from Kentucky were shot around 1:30 a.m. (CDT) March 23, 2021 at a resort in Panama City Beach, Fla. One of the boys died, the other was wounded. Police have made an arrest in the case.(Source: WJHG)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A possible motive has been revealed in the Panama City Beach shooting that left a Louisville teenager dead and another injured. The victims, both 14 years old, were stepbrothers.

Neither have been publicly identified.

The shooting happened on the beach in front of the Shores of Panama high-rise condo early Tuesday morning.

Panama City Police Department officers took Christopher Cox, 37, into custody before they discovered the dead teen victim. The surviving teen was found by investigators at the Shores of Panama after following a trail of blood to a room.

Documents released Wednesday also revealed that a Benton, Kentucky nurse ran to help the surviving teen victim.

Cox was arrested for the double shooting near Pineapple Willy’s Restaurant. He is charged with homicide and attempted homicide. In custody, he detailed the events that lead up to the shooting according to an arrest affidavit obtained by WAVE 3 News.

Court documents reveal Cox told officers he thought the teens were trying to take a bag from him. He said he had his gun in his bag, and losing it was something he was “not willing to do.”

The victims’ grandparents have previously told WAVE 3 the boys were in Florida on vacation. They claimed that Cox approached the stepbrothers on the beach, asking for a cigarette and then began shooting.

Cox allegedly told the boys “you better run for the ocean because I’m going to shoot you,” according to family members.

In an interview with police however, Cox claimed one of the boys grabbed his backpack and he felt as though they were trying to steal it from it him. Then, Cox pulled the bag away and retrieved a Colt 45, 1911 handgun from the bag, loaded the gun and fired in a “moment of rage.”

When asked what would have happened if the bag was stolen, Cox reportedly told police he would have lost his gun which he was “not willing to do.”

The arrest affidavit also revealed what officers found when they arrived on the scene. The surviving victim was shot once in the foot and the arm; his stepbrother was shot multiple times but the report did not say where.

When Cox was found in the vicinity of the shooting, it was documented that he had blood on his pants.

At one point during the arrest, Cox referred to the two teens as derogatory terms and called them “developmentally challenged.” He told police he could have outrun the two teenagers if he needed to.

Panama City Beach Police Lt. J.R Talamantez explained the timeline for the shooting is still under investigation.

According to WJHG, the suspect made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon and bond was denied.

Cox is due back in court April 26th.

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