SRO dies one week after being struck while directing school traffic

Johnny Patterson, 59, was also the assistant police chief of a neighboring town

Duty Death: Johnny Patterson - [Shannon, Mississippi]

End of Service: 01/21/2022


By William Moore
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo

TUPELO, Miss. — Veteran law enforcement officer Johnny Patterson was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m. Friday, just over a week after he was hit by a car while directing traffic in front of Shannon Primary School.

The family made the decision to take him off life support and to honor his wishes to be an organ donor. Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green said he was pronounced dead by a doctor at North Mississippi Medical Center.

Officers with the Verona and Shannon police departments escorted his body to Jackson Friday evening for tissue donations, said Verona Police Chief Marsenio Nunn. Patterson will be returned to Lee Memorial Funeral Home Saturday morning.

Nunn said the funeral is set for Monday, Jan. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in the Shannon High School gymnasium. There will be a funeral procession/motorcade from the school to Lee Memorial where he will be buried with full honors

Patterson, who would have turned 59 next Saturday, was a school resource officer at the school and the Verona assistant police chief. He was standing in the four-laned Highway 45 in front of the school directing traffic as the school was letting out on Thursday, Jan. 13.

[RELATED: 5 ways police departments can improve officer traffic safety]

Around 2:50 p.m., a motorist traveling north plowed into the back of his Lee County School District car, knocking it into him. The impact left him with fractures in the neck and face. There was major trauma to the chest and stomach, forcing doctors to insert tubes to prevent his lungs from collapsing.

He arrived at the North Mississippi Medical Center in critical condition and never regained consciousness.

The driver of the other car stayed on the scene and has been cooperating with the investigation. So far, no criminal charges have been filed and no citations issued. The incident is still under investigation.

(c)2022 the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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