A police officer was shot and killed on Tuesday night while responding to the call of a suicidal man who was armed with a gun in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Jose, according to the AP. The slain officer was identified as Michael Johnson, a 12-year veteran of the force. A link to a video of the news conference can be found here.
According to 911 tapes, police were called to an apartment when Scott Dunham, in his mid-50s, reportedly threatened his wife, saying that he would kill her if “she didn’t leave.” The woman exited from the apartment and called one of her children, who subsequently called police, according to the 911 tapes released by the San Jose Police Department.
Officers were fired upon as they approached the apartment at approximately 6:48 p.m. local time, San Jose Police Department spokesman Albert Morales revealed in a statement. They swarmed the area to find the gunman, who was in an apartment.
Officers, armored vehicles, and a helicopter came from neighboring law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol to aid in the search. According to Reuters, traffic was also shut down for several blocks in the surrounding area. At 1:30 a.m., officers used explosives to breach the apartment. They also used a robot with a camera to check inside the apartment building. Dunham was found dead approximately two hours later.
San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel held a late-night news conference in which he indicated that the authorities were in the process of evacuating nearby residents. Esquivel stated that there was no communication between the police and Dunham between the time that Officer Michael Johnson was shot about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, and when Dunham was discovered dead at 3:20 a.m., over eight-and-a-half hours later. It’s not clear if Dunham committed suicide or if he died when officers returned fire.
Police Chief Larry Esquivel indicated during a Wednesday morning news conference that they did not have a motive regarding why Scott Dunham threatened to commit suicide or why he fired on police. A neighbor indicated that Dunham had recently become unemployed, and a niece stated that Dunham had untreated mental health issues. Police considered Dunham to be intoxicated when found. Esquivel indicated the following in the AP, regarding the unfortunate loss of police officer Michael Johnson.
“It’s unfortunate that this person had the nerve, the audacity, to shoot at our officers that were responding to a call for service, for assistance.”
In another unfortunate incident, a Wisconsin State Trooper was killed by a bank robbery suspect, according to the Inquisitr. Luckily, no other people were harmed.
[Photo Courtesy AP]