Local News

Durham officer shoots man in head while responding to 911 call

Posted July 16, 2014

— Durham's police chief said Wednesday that an officer responding to a disturbance call at a local apartment complex shot a man in the head after he failed to put down a gun.

Chief Jose Lopez said that Officer Brian K. Johnson was responding around 2:15 a.m. to the call in the 1507 Mathison Street after someone with a child called 911 reporting that they thought a man was shooting at them.

When police arrived, Johnson told the man several times in both English and Spanish to drop his weapons, but the man did not, Lopez said. Johnson fired at least one shot, hitting the man in the head. He was being treated for a life-threatening injury at a local hospital.

No one else was injured.

Lopez did not release the identity of the man who was shot, and he couldn't provide details about what might have prompted him to be shooting.

"There's no explanation as to what started it or why it happened," Lopez said. "I think that will come out."

Almarosa Castillo-Jimenez said she made the 911 call after someone started shooting at her and her baby while she was in a nearby yard talking with a friend.

"We stepped behind the backyard, and a person with white T-shirt started shooting," she said. "He aimed with a gun and fired a shot to us from the apartment upstairs"

Castillo said they ran and hid behind a car and called 911.

The State Bureau of Investigation and Durham Police Department's Professional Standards Division are looking into the shooting, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

Johnson, who has been with the police department since 2003, is on paid administrative leave.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 21, 2014

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    Oh, yes, please ignore the cops when they tell you to put your gun down.

    Seriously, though, how do *you* know what is legal and what is not legal at any given moment? There could be an APB out for you...or someone looking like you...who just shot a cop...and there you are...not putting your gun down. How do you think that will go?

  • Billy the Kid Jul 17, 2014

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    It depends on how they are carrying it and if it's in a legal manner, there are protections for that. I carried mine to the store today and no one felt the need to "check me out".

  • dejavu2u Jul 17, 2014

    Great job officer, you stopped a suspect's violent actions.

    My problem is with the misleading headline... I guess they ran out of space to include the "man" was armed and had fired shots at residents. The shooting occurred after responding to a 911 call, not "while" responding. I know young men shoot guns while driving in Durham, but not the cops.

  • 678devilish Jul 17, 2014

    The officers had every right to shoot after telling the man constanly to drop his gun. The man did not and was shot, losing his life. The man disobey the officer.

  • Marciana Paul Jul 17, 2014
    user avatar

    yeah yeah yeah they are to protect the public...BUT THAT DOESN'T GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO EXCUTE A PERSON.. why not shot him in the arm or legs even the torso area..No but he aimed for his head TO KILL HIM..cops can commit murders 2 ya know.....

  • Edward Levy Jul 17, 2014
    user avatar

    Sounds from the report that it was a CLEAN shooting TO PROTECT & SERVE. oFFICER jOHNSON, YOU DID YOUR JOB

  • ncouterbanks69 Jul 17, 2014

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    LOL.....I believe your tinfoil is a little loose. I walk around with a gun have no criminal record (unlike your beloved criminals from the south) and actually contribute not take from society. If everyone were the same we wouldn't have very many issues.

  • disgusted2010 Jul 17, 2014

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    I suppose you want people exercising their freedom of speech checked out also. Or based on your comment a news reporter gathering the news should be checked out.

    Ok, who do you want to "check" them out, the police you disparage daily?

  • 007 - GranCo - Forever Jul 17, 2014

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    I'm still around, I just usually stick to the uber non-important stuff.

  • Super Hans Jul 17, 2014

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    Someone walking around with a gun in public needs to be checked out, PERIOD.