MMA fighter charged in death of a Florida airman

Authorities arrested and charged an amateur mixed martial arts fighter for his alleged role in the recent death of an airman outside a Florida bar.

Ross Allen Johnson, a 23-year-old MMA fighter, allegedly delivered a fatal punch to airman 1st Class Dayvon Larry, 31, during an altercation at a Florida bar late on April 9.

Larry, 31, was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and pronounced dead the following day, Jennifer Jensen, a spokesperson from the base, confirmed to Military Times. He served with the 325th Security Forces Squadron.

Johnson, the MMA fighter, is charged with manslaughter, according to a police report from the Panama City Beach Police Department, obtained by Law & Crime.

The death of the airman reportedly occurred following a brawl between the MMA fighter and another group in the parking lot of the Coyote Ugly Saloon in Panama City Beach, Florida.

The police report details how Johnson allegedly intervened in an altercation between his friend and an unknown man, and on his way toward the interaction, reportedly hit Larry behind his left ear with a closed fist, causing his death. After the incident, Johnson and his friend reportedly left the scene, leaving Larry unattended.

“Man, I hit that guy,” Johnson allegedly told a friend, according to the police report. “I laid him out, and I think I killed him.” The police report mentioned that Johnson claimed he headed toward his friend’s fight in order to break it up, and that he was defending himself and his friend from Larry as he also ran toward the scene.

The report also noted, however, that Johnson, reportedly a previous amateur MMA fighter with a 5-2 record and three years of “advanced fighter training,” changed details of his story multiple times. A preliminary cause of the airman’s death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head, the report added.

“During his time at Tyndall, A1C Larry made a lasting impact,” the Florida base said in a statement posted on social media.

“He was truly an outstanding [a]irman. His passion for helping the local youth and his fellow [a]irmen will be sorely missed by all. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends and fellow [a]irmen.”

Four others were also said to be charged over the incident according to AL.com.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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