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Autopsy: Raleigh teen shot five times by Wake Forest police

Posted March 28

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— An 18-year-old shot by Wake Forest police last May sustained five bullet wounds during the standoff with authorities, according to an autopsy released Monday by the state Medical Examiner.

David William Johnson, of 2545 Spring Oaks Way in Raleigh, died at WakeMed last May after he was shot by Wake Forest Police officers David Cohen and Darryl Ragland. The officers were not injured.

An autopsy revealed that Johnson had been shot one time each in the head, chest, right forearm, right scrotum, and right lower leg. Johnson suffered “significant internal injuries” involving his brain, right lung and pelvic bone as well as internal bleeding within the right chest cavity, the report said.

The autopsy said that two bullets were recovered from Johnson’s body during the post-mortem examination while three others exited the body at the time of the shooting. Four bullets entered his body from the front, while the entry path of the superficial bullet wound to the right forearm could not be determined.

A toxicology report determined that Johnson had consumed a “significant amount of alcohol” prior to his death.

Cohen and Ragland initially encountered Johnson on May 6 at 300 Stone Monument Drive after Raleigh police requested assistance regarding the discharge of a stolen firearm. Johnson fled as the officers approached him and Cohen and Ragland persued Johnson, who wrecked his vehicle during the course of the chase.

"Preliminary investigations indicate Johnson exited the vehicle armed with a handgun in plain view," the department said in a statement last May. "Officers Cohen and Ragland gave multiple verbal commands to Johnson to drop his weapon. Johnson failed to comply, and officers Cohen and Ragland fired their weapons, striking Johnson multiple times."

The two officers performed CPR and provided first aid to Johnson before he was taken to WakeMed, authorities said.


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  • Benjamin Kite Mar 30, 2016
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    It saddens me to learn he committed suicide via cop. It saddens me that he put it on the shoulders of our cops to carry the weight of his death. Good lookin' kid, and there's no sense to it, and nothing to learn from it.

  • Johnathan Gault Mar 29, 2016
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    He was known as a tormented young man in the community. It is a tragedy it had to be resolved in this manner.