Former police officer accused of faking shootout, making hoax bomb threat …

27 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

DA: Ex-Millis cop accused of faking shootout found dead in home.

A former part-time Massachusetts police officer accused of shooting up his own patrol cruiser and calling in a hoax bomb threat has died after apparently committing suicide.A former Millis police officer who allegedly lied about a motorist shooting at him in September was found dead in his home Thursday, according to a statement from the Norfolk district attorney’s office. A grand jury had indicted Johnson on Nov. 19 on a charge of willful communication of a bomb threat to a school, making a false police report, malicious destruction of property and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

Last week, a Norfolk County grand jury issued six indictments against Johnson, including new charges stemming from a false bomb threat at Millis High School the same day Johnson is alleged to have staged a shootout with a non-existent motorist. According to prosecutors, on Sept. 2, Johnson fired his personal firearm into his own department-issued SUV before telling police that a man in a pickup truck opened fire on his vehicle. Johnson’s claim forced the community to shelter in place and schools went into lockdown while authorities launched an area-wide manhunt that included about 20 state police troopers and detectives, a helicopter, armored cars and more than 50 heavily armed officers from the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council.

Investigators said the young officer later confessed he had shot the cruiser himself three times, gotten into the vehicle, and blacked out before crashing into the trees. Investigators would later determine that Johnson had done the shooting and the story about the driver of the pickup truck was a hoax, prosecutors said.

Johnson’s alleged actions shut down the town of Millis, closing schools for a day and triggering a massive search for the alleged shooter by heavily armed police. The alleged incidents happened less than three weeks after Millis selectmen voted unanimously to make Johnson a permanent member of the Millis Police Department.

Johnson continues to enjoy the Constitutional presumption of his innocence, we believe the scope of the conduct alleged here makes Superior Court the appropriate venue,” Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. He spent a week undergoing a mental health evaluation at Norwood Hospital after admitting the shooting hoax and was free on $10,000 cash bail after pleading innocent in Wrentham District Court.

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