Police: Man who shot and killed West Virginia police officer bought drugs just before launching the attack


CHARLESTON, WV – Police are reporting that the man accused of shooting and killing a Charleston, West Virginia officer had purchased drugs before the attack.

Kanawha County Sheriff, Mike Rutherford, reported that the suspect in the case, Joshua Philips, purchased drugs from a home near where he shot and killed Charleston Officer Cassie Johnson. Police say they were able to place Philips at Richard Chapman’s residence prior to the fateful encounter.

Detective CA Boner reported that investigators met with Chapman, who stated Philips was at his residence prior to the shooting looking for “ice”, which is a street name for methamphetamine. Although Chapman has allegedly admitted to giving him drugs in the past, there is no information available to determine if he did or did not.

Boner spoke to three other people at the residence, Herb Sharp, Marshall Sharp, and a woman that police are not identifying. Herb told officers that he saw Philips come to the residence looking to purchase pills from Chapman.  The pills Philips was allegedly looking for were Clonazepam and Klonopin. 

Court documents also suggest that an unnamed witness, possibly the same unnamed woman, reported hearing a conversation between Marshall and Chapman in which they mentioned Philips coming to the residence to purchase “pills and dope.”

Court documents state that Marshall admitted that he had sold Chapman 60-80 Klonopin pills, and was paid $100 for them. Marshall allegedly told Boner that his uncle, Herb, had introduced him to Chapman so that he could help with selling pills.

Marshall claimed the only time he came into contact with Philips was when he entered Chapman’s room. For some reason, Marshall claimed that he waited inside of Herb’s room to stay away from Philips, but there was no explanation as to why.

The criminal complaint states that there were a number of pills that were removed from Philips’ pants at the time of his arrest. According to Sergeant MK Knapp, the pills were processed and turned over to the Charleston Police Department.

Knapp stated that there were a total of 63 blue round pills with a C over 1 imprinted on them. Those markings indicate that those pills were Clonazepam/Klonopin, which is a schedule IV narcotic.

The original incident stemmed from Johnson responding to a traffic complaint on Garrison Avenue. When she arrived on the scene, she made contact with Philips, who allegedly parked in a driveway that was not his.

Police say video surveillance in the area shows Johnson going across the street from where the car was parked, and then returning to the car with Philips. At some point during this interaction, a confrontation ensued.

Rutherford told WSAZ:

“There was some discussion back and forth. It appears she may have attempted to place him under arrest because there was a scuffle at that time. For a brief period of time, they stopped, it started again and that’s when the incident went down, and it got obviously much worse.”

Philips fired a weapon, striking Johnson, and as she went down, police said she was able to return fire, striking Philips. Philips was located nearby, and arrested without further incident. 

Johnson was rushed to a nearby hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries. She was kept alive while medical staff worked to get her organs donated to those in need.

Philips was also taken to a nearby hospital to receive treatment for the gunshot wound he received during the fight.  While there has been no official listing as to his status, he is listed as recovering in a hospital. 

He will be charged with the murder of a law enforcement officer once he is released from the hospital. 

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Female police officer murdered while responding to a parking complaint – still managed to return fire

December 3, 2020


CHARLESTON, WV – A police officer with the Charleston, West Virginia Police Department was shot in the line of duty on December 1st while dealing with an armed suspect.  The involved officer was able to return fire, striking the suspect who was later captured. 

This hero officer succumbed to her injuries.

The Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt and Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin, released a joint statement on December 2 around 4pm:

“This afternoon, a Charleston Police Officer was shot while in the line of duty.  The officer has been transported to the hospital and is in surgery at this time.  We ask all Charleston residents to keep our officer and the entire Charleston Police Department in their thoughts and prayers.  We will provide more information as it is available.”

Johnson was responding to a traffic complaint on Garrison Avenue and came into contact with the alleged shooter, Joshua Phillips. 

While it is still unknown how or why the shooting happened, Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford alleges that Philips opened fire, striking Johnson. 

They also believe, that through the pain of the gunshot wound, Johnson showed tremendous courage and strength and was able to return fire, striking Philips.

At 6pm, Hunt relayed:

“Officer Johnson was struck in what would normally be a killer wound, but in the true fighting spirit of the Charleston Police Department and those who are truly called to serve, she has a pulse, she’s not out of the woods and is going to be recovering and we hope and pray that she makes a full recovery.”

Hunt the added:

“Not only do we need your prayers tonight for Cassie, but we need prayers tonight for her mother Cheryl, her sister Chelsie, but also for our first responders who make these calls every single day.”

Sadly, on December 2nd, Hunt announced that Johnson is not likely going to survive from the shooting.  Hunt said:

“With a heavy heart, I hate to say she is not going to be able to pull through this.  She is still fighting but her body is unable to sustain life by itself.”

Hunt did not report on the condition of Philips nor the area in which he was shot by Johnson.  The only comment that was made is that Philips is currently recovering in the hospital.

The investigation into the police involved shooting was turned over to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office according to Rutherford.  At this time, they will not be releasing any information as to what could have led up to the shooting until after they have a clearer picture of what happened.  Rutherford said:

“Once that’s [investigation] finished we will turn our information over to the Charleston Police Department and the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office and they will determine what charges [will be filed against Philips].”

Hunt asked again for prayers for Johnson and her family.  He said:

“As one final parting gift to continue to help others, she is an organ donor.  The doctors are working with the family to determine eligibility and work out some donorship there.”

Johnson was the first female officer sworn into the city by Goodwin after she was elected as Mayor.  Goodwin commented that Johnson’s dedication to the community and her commitment to be a professional law enforcement officer will be remembered by her agency and the community.

Goodwin also called for prayers:

“Her family still needs your prayers, and to this community we still need your strength.  [Johnson] is a wonderful, bright young woman who is going to leave an amazing legacy for every woman in this city.”


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