Detroit officer shot last month still fighting to live

George Hunter

A Detroit police officer who was shot in the head last month while investigating a domestic violence call is still struggling for his life.

Officer Johnson, whose first name is being withheld at the request of his family, remains in critical condition at Beaumont Hospital Oakwood, Detroit Police director of media relations Michael Woody said.

“Unfortunately, his condition hasn’t changed,” Woody said.

Johnson’s son, Arin Johnson, started a page to raise money for the family, because he said Officer Johnson’s wife, a science teacher, has been off work since the April 30 shooting.

The officer’s son wrote about the night he received the news his father had been shot.

“Late Sunday night in New York City, I was just getting off of work preparing for a new school semester and work week,” wrote Arin Johnson, one of the officer’s three children, on the gofundme page, which had raised $12,450 as of midday Tuesday.

“I ... was just laying in bed and felt a really weird energy in the air but somewhat ignored it because I was tired. But ... my younger brother Jaden texted me that something had happened to Dad but didn’t say what but at that very moment I got numerous phone calls and finally found out that my father had been shot in the head,” he wrote. “I immediately went into shock and panic mode. For one, I live over 600 miles away and couldn't just drive to the hospital ... I felt helpless.

“That was just my reaction to his injury ... imagine my mothers? His wife? My two younger siblings? We have been on a emotional roller coaster this past week and it is a horrible feeling. We have so much support and prayers from wonderful family and friends who want to help and that is making things great! True angels have been surrounding us with love & care!”

Arin Johnson wrote that his mother is a science teacher. “(She) and juggles so much with my younger sister’s gymnastics and other activities .... (brother) Jaden, a high school sophomore, is set for the NFL. He works out and trains extensively everyday but doesn’t miss getting A’s in all his honor classes! I’m extremely proud of my family and that’s because we have wonderful parents like my mother and father! Seriously!

“My father has gained notable respect from his fellow officers and (received) many accolades within his career but he is a true fighter at heart because he was a boxer in his younger days and that flame is what is healing him each and everyday because his healing process is a miracle and he is FIGHTING!!!!”

Officer Johnson and his partner from the 2nd Precinct responded to a domestic violence call at the Oakman Apartments on Detroit’s west side, when, about 11:30 p.m., surveillance video in the building shows James Edward Ray, 46, loading his .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol as he walked in what police described as an unsteady gait from his apartment to the door where the officers stood. Then, police say, Ray opened fire, striking Johnson.

Johnson’s partner returned fire, killing Ray.

Chief James Craig said after the incident he believes Ray would have shot whoever was at the door. Police searched Ray’s apartment and found a shotgun and a .45 caliber pistol.

Johnson was the seventh police officer to be shot in Detroit since September. An eighth Detroit officer, Myron Jarrett, was killed in October by an intoxicated driver who fled.

Jarrett and other fallen Detroit police officers were honored recently during a ceremony at Public Safety Headquarters.

(313) 222-2134

Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN