'All of Alabama grieves': Deputy shot during pursuit dies
Brad Johnson, 32, was mortally wounded after he and another deputy were shot this week
Duty Death: Brad Johnson - [Bibb County, Alabama]
End of Service: 06/30/2022
By Carol Robinson
BIBB COUNTY, Ala. — Officers from around the state on Thursday evening escorted the body of slain Alabama Deputy Brad Johnson from UAB Hospital to the Legacy of Hope, Alabama’s Organ and Tissue Donation Alliances.
Johnson, a 32-year-old father of two daughters, was pronounced dead 3:18 p.m. Thursday, the day after he and another deputy, 30-year-old Christopher Poole, were shot during a police chase in Bibb County.
Dozens of officers gathered at UAB Hospital where, at 6 p.m., they lined the hallways of the hospital North Pavilion and Legacy of hope.
In what is called an Honor Walk, Johnson was moved from the hospital to the organ center – about two blocks - on an interior pathway between the two.
Johnson’s body will remain at Legacy of Hope until the organ harvesting process is complete, which hospital officials said would take several days.
Among those at the Honor Walker were Johnson’s K9 Bodie and Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade.
“Today, all of Alabama grieves the loss of one of our heroes in blue, Bibb County Deputy Brad Johnson. At only 32 years-old, he served in law enforcement for several years and was engaged to be married,’’ said Gov. Kay Ivey.
“He will be remembered as a hero.”
“He will not only be called a hero for protecting his community, but also through his organ donations,’’ Ivey said.
“Our entire state is praying for his family, his fiancé and fellow law enforcement officers.”
“Alabama feels the heavy loss of another law enforcement hero who gave his life while putting his sworn duty to protect the public ahead of his own personal safety,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall.
“I would like to ask all Alabamians to pause and reflect on the loss of Deputy Brad Johnson and to pray for his family. As Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade noted, Deputy Johnson will continue to save lives through organ donations.”
District Attorney Michael Jackson said the Bibb County Sheriff’s deputies were chasing 26-year-old Austin Patrick Hall, a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history, in a stolen vehicle when the suspect got out and fired shots, striking both deputies.
Both deputies were rushed to UAB Hospital via a massive police escort along Interstate 65, traveling through Hoover and Homewood and Birmingham.
Poole was released Wednesday night and is recovering at home.
A massive manhunt continued throughout Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. The U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task and other law enforcement officers found Hall hiding in a tent outside a mobile home in Bibb County, at which point he yelled that was not armed and was taken into custody without further incident.
Hall, who has been arrested on at least 46 charges since he was 17, is being held without bond on the Shelby County Jail. Jackson said Hall is charged with two counts of capital murder and one count of attempted murder. He is set to be arraigned on Friday morning.
Johnson had served with the sheriff’s office just over seven years.
“It’s been said that a coward dies a thousand deaths, but a hero but one,’’ Sheriff Wade said Thursday. “Brad Johnson was a hero.”
“This is the toughest thing I have had to do. This is the son that called me just a few hours before hand to ask me to help him find a good place for a beach trip,’’ Johnson’s father, Steven Johnson, posted on Facebook. A son that loved playing the guitar, fishing, riding four-wheelers, and so much more. This is not the way your day is supposed to end. Blue line forever.”
“The community is just shocked that anything like this could happen nearby,’’ said Centreville Mayor Mike Oakley. “It’s shock and outrage.”
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