On Saturday, April 28, Officer Oliver Johnson was playing video games with his family in his West Memphis, Arkansas home when he was killed by a stray bullet. Johnson was a member of the Forrest City Police Department and Lieutenant Eric Varnersaid in a statement, ‘‘We’re at a loss for words,” Varner said. “We’re deeply saddened by this.’’
ArkansasOnline.com reports, “It does not appear the officer was the intended target of the shooting, said Capt. Joe Baker, a spokesman with the West Memphis Police Department. Rather, a group of people was firing shots outside the officer’s apartment while he was at home, off duty, Baker said. Johnson was struck once in his upper torso by an errant bullet, Baker said.”
Reportedly, there have been several shootings in the area for six months, one neighbor Portia Weatherspoon said, “Sweet as can be. I mean wasn’t a bad person at all. I never heard anything bad about him.” She also added, “When I stepped outside one of his nephews yelled my uncle has been shot. So, when I went in the house, I found him shot and me and my husband tried to do CPR.”
Sadly, because Johnson was killed while he was not on duty, insurance will not cover his death. His police department has started on GoFundMe page, which has already raised over $4,000. The funeral service for Officer Johnson will be held Saturday, May 12 at First Baptist Church in West Memphis, Arkansas.
Oliver Johnson was a father of two daughters and engaged to be married. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy.