Suspect in hidden room dies after shootout with deputies

- Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said a man hiding in a hidden room died after being found by deputies and engaging them in gunfire.

Judd said SWAT officers were called to the scene that began with the execution of two drug-related search warrants at mobile homes on Sunset Circle.

While in one of the mobile homes where Casey E. Powell was arrested, deputies discovered a false room off one of the bedrooms. When they tried to open it, someone pulled back. The person in the room turned out to be Kevin Johnson, who was later found dead in the hidden room. 

Judd said Johnson shot through the door at deputies with a shotgun. Deputies said the concussion from the shotgun blast was "deafening." 

Deputies returned fire through the wall, and then retreated and called SWAT. After calling for Johnson and using a robot to see if he was still inside. Johnson did not respond so officers used a small charge to blow a hole in the side of the mobile home. They found Johnson dead inside. 

Judd said it was unclear whether Johnson died from the deputies' returned gunfire, or if he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Judd said deputies interviewed Johnson's mother, who now faces charges of tampering with evidence after she slammed her phone on the ground to break it instead of allowing investigators to see her correspondence with Johnson. 

The sheriff said Johnson had a "rich" criminal history and was wanted for a violation of his probation. 

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