Police: Shot W.Va. cop 'not going to pull through'

Officer Cassie Johnson is "unable to sustain life" after she was shot in the head Tuesday, police said


In a GoFundMe shared by the Charleston Police Department, officials said the decision was made to remove Officer Cassie Johnson from life support.

By Joe Severino
The Charleston Gazette-Mail, W.Va.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt said Wednesday evening the city police officer allegedly shot by a resident Tuesday afternoon will not survive.

Officer Cassie Johnson, 28, was gravely wounded when she was shot just before 3 p.m. on Garrison Avenue.

Officer Cassie Johnson was shot in the line of duty December 2, 2020.
Officer Cassie Johnson was shot in the line of duty December 2, 2020. (Charleston (W.Va.) Police Department)

"With a heavy heart, I hate to say she is not going to be able to pull through this," Hunt said outside of Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital. "She is still fighting but her body is unable to sustain life by itself."

Johnson was responding to a traffic complaint on Garrison Avenue when Joshua Phillips, 38, of Charleston, allegedly shot her in the face, said Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office believes Johnson also shot Phillips, which sent him to CAMC General.

Hunt said there was no update on Phillips' condition as of Wednesday evening, except he was recovering in the hospital.

Rutherford said the sheriff's office is currently handling the investigation. He said a confrontation on Garrison Avenue led to the shooting, but declined to comment further until witness statements and evidence collection can be completed.

"Once that's finished, we will turn our information over to the Charleston Police Department and the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office and they will determine what charges [will be filed against Phillips]," Rutherford said.

"I really can't get into more detail, I'm sorry," Rutherford said, "but we don't want to cause a problem with the investigation and have a problem down the road. We want the full extent of the law to apply in this case. We're going to do this right and we're going to do a thorough and conclusive investigation."

Hunt asked for continued prayers for Johnson and her family, and commended Johnson "for even in her passing still being a true hero."

"As one final parting gift to continue to help others, she is an organ donor," Hunt said. "The doctors are working with the family to determine eligibility and work out some donorship there."

Johnson was the first city police officer sworn in by Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin when she began her term in January 2019. Goodwin said Wednesday Johnson is going to be remembered by the community for her commitment to service.

"Her family still needs your prayers, and to this community we still need your strength," Goodwin said. "[She] is a wonderful, bright young woman who is going to leave an amazing legacy for every woman in this city."

The city held a candlelight vigil for Johnson at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Laidley Field.

(c)2020 The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, W.Va.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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