Local News

Durham Officer Shoots Suspect Wanted In Trooper Crash

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DURHAM, N.C. — A man wanted in connection with a high-speed chase that seriously injured a state trooper last week was fatally shot Friday afternoon after allegedly hitting a police officer with his car.

Police said Javan Johnson, 24, ran a stoplight at Cheek Road and Hardee Steet. An officer spotted Johnson, who led the officer on a chase.

Johnson is the same man who, authorities said, led Highway Patrol Trooper Jerry Brand on a high-speed pursuit last week, ending with Brand losing control of his cruiser and crashing in a fiery wreck that left him in serious condition.

Investigators said that during the chase, Johnson hit several cars in the parking lot of an apartment complex. At that point, the officer got out of his car and Johnson struck him with his vehicle. That's when the officer fired a single shot. Johnson kept driving, but crashed into an embankment just a block up the road.

"It's a tremendous waste of life," said nearby resident Stephen Roberts. "It seems if someone had just stopped, they would have been out of jail at 8:00 tonight."

Roberts said even though the crash happened in his neighborhood, the community has a solid relationship with the Durham Police Department.

"Oh yeah, we trust them, they protect us," he said.

The Highway Patrol said Brand is still at Duke Hospital in serious but stable condition. The police officer in Friday's shooting will be placed on paid leave, which is standard procedure.


Paul LaGrone, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Dana Franks, Web Editor

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