- By Ashleigh Sloop
- Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Reserve Sergeant James Johnson was shot and killed after being confronted by an armed suspect in front of his home.
The suspect had a long standing disagreement with his neighbors over property boundaries. The man had moved from the property earlier in the month, but returned with a rifle and murdered the couple he was in the dispute with.
The killer then confronted Reserve Sergeant Johnson and his 10-year-old grandson. Reserve Sergeant Johnson was able to distract the killer, which allowed his grandson to escape into the house and notify his grandmother, who called police. When deputies were dispatched to the scene, Reserve Sergeant Johnson's son-in-law, who was a full-time deputy and off-duty, learned of the call and immediately responded to the scene.
In the meantime, Reserve Sergeant Johnson attempted to diffuse the situation but at some point was shot. When his son-in-law arrived at the scene, he encountered the assailant and became engaged in a shootout and was wounded.
The killer was also shot and wounded by return fire. He was taken into custody and charged with three counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted capital murder. The action of the two deputies were credited with preventing the killer from murdering the couple's 5-year-old son, who was in the home at the time of the shooting.
The suspect was convicted of three counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Reserve Sergeant Johnson is survived by his wife and three children. He had served with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department for 7 years, and had previously served with the Kernersville Police Department in both full-time and part-time capacities for 28 years.