WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. – A Forrest City police officer was shot and killed inside his own home Saturday, officials said.
Officer Oliver Johnson, Jr. was inside his home just before 2 p.m. in West Memphis, Ark., when an unidentified person unleashed a spray of bullets at his home, FOX13 Memphis reported. Neighbors said there were children inside the home, including Johnson’s daughter.
“They hit the apartment. They hit the car. They hit the whole place up,” one resident who witnessed the shooting told FOX13.
Saturday shift kicks off with Forrest City PD officer shot and killed inside his West Memphis home. Working to learn more about what happened. pic.twitter.com/evzl4DEdOB
— Tony Atkins (@TonyAtkinsFOX13) April 28, 2018
Johnson died after being struck by a bullet. A family member inside the house attempted to perform CPR on the off-duty police officer, WREG reported. Portia Weatherspoon, Johnson’s relative, said she heard about 40 gunshots.
Authorities are still investigating the incident, including identifying the suspects. However, they believe Johnson was not targeted in the shooting.
Rather, a group of people was firing shots outside the officer’s apartment while he was at home, off duty, West Memphis Police Capt. Joe Baker said.
Johnson was struck once in his upper torso by an errant bullet, according to Baker.
“It was an encounter between the suspects and another group outside of the apartment,” Capt. Baker told WREG. “This hits everyone a little close to home in law enforcement. He was a police officer, some of my officers did, in fact, know him.”
Johnson was a father of two daughters. He and his fiancé were planning a birthday party for their youngest daughter, according to the news site.
Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin said he was “heartbroken” to hear about Johnson’s death.
“Heartbroken to hear about the senseless killing of Forrest City Police Officer Oliver Johnson Jr. in eastern AR. May God’s grace and comfort be with his family & loved ones,” he tweeted
Heartbroken to hear about the senseless killing of Forrest City Police Officer Oliver Johnson Jr. in eastern AR. May God’s grace and comfort be with his family & loved ones. https://t.co/LVtUi6Bi5D
— Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (@LtGovTimGriffin) April 28, 2018
The following details were posted on a GoFundMe page:
On April 28th, 2018 Officer Oliver Johnson Jr. was inside his home in West Memphis, Arkansas playing video games with his family. Unbeknown to him there was an incident unfolding in his apartment complex. Individuals involved in incident began shooting and Officer Johnson was fatally struck by a stray bullet. His benefits are limited because this was not considered a line of duty death by the insurance companies. We are asking for your support in honor of his young fiance and small children. If you have further questions feel free to call the Forrest City Police Department in Arkansas.
Forrest City Police Department mentioned Johnson’s death on its Facebook page, after previously stating it had to cancel all of Saturday events “with a heavy heart…due to unforseen (SIC) circumstances.”