Local News

Wake DA clears Cary officer in fatal shooting

Posted August 11

Shaquian Tyrone Johnson

— A Cary police officer won't face criminal charges in the May shooting death of a burglary suspect, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Friday.

A woman called 911 in the early hours of May 28 to report that she and her granddaughter were hiding from an intruder inside their home in the 200 block of Firetree Lane, in the Preston development off Davis Drive.

When police arrived, they saw a man running from the home, and K9 units were called in to track his whereabouts.

More than two hours later, while police attempted to take him into custody on Creek Park Drive, Shaquian Tyrone Johnson fired a shot at police. Officer A.J. Lopez returned fire, shooting and killing Johnson.

Johnson, 22, died at WakeMed.

Lopez told State Bureau of Investigation agents that he "heard a gunshot and saw what he described as a muzzle flash," so he fired several rounds at Johnson, according to Freeman's report.

Investigators found a revolver at the scene that had been stolen from a vehicle earlier that night, the report states. Tests determined that Johnson had fired a gun, and his DNA was consistent with some found on the gun, according to the report.

Johnson was shot twice in the face, once in his left arm and once in his back, according to an autopsy report. The shot in the back was fatal, as it struck his pulmonary artery.

"Based on all the evidence available, it is the conclusion of the District Attorney that Officer Lopez reasonably believed that his life and the lives of other officers were endangered when he shot Mr. Johnson," Freeman wrote in her report.

Lopez, 29, has been on administrative duty pending the outcome of the SBI review. He has been with the Cary Police Department since 2015 and previously worked four years as a Lee County deputy.

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