An off-duty Arkansas police officer was shot and killed inside his home on Saturday as a burst of gunshots struck an apartment complex, WREG-TV reports.
Around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, someone in a vehicle began firing a gun toward the Meadow Apartments in West Memphis, striking 25-year-old Forrest City officer Oliver Johnson, Jr.
“We just heard about 40 gunshots,” said Portia Weatherspoon, a relative and neighbor of Johnson.
Children outside said they ran for cover as gunshots erupted. Johnson’s family told the television station that he was sitting inside his home at the time with his two daughters.
Multiple bullets reportedly hit Johnson’s living room, FOX13 reports. He was in his gaming room while trying to run out. One of the bullets hit Johnson’s upper torso, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports.
A family member attempted CPR on him and he was later rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators at this point don’t think Johnson was targeted specifically, and police have not yet arrested anyone in connection with the shooting, according to the newspaper.
“It was an encounter between the suspects and another group outside of the apartment,” West Memphis Police Captain Joe Baker told WREG-TV. “This hits everyone a little close to home in law enforcement. He was a police officer, some of my officers did, in fact, know him.”
Johnson and his fiancée were in the process of preparing for his youngest daughter’s birthday party in the coming days, according to a relative. Johnson had been a Forrest City for more than two years. His family described him as genuine, passionate and caring.
West Memphis is across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee. Forrest City is approximately 40 miles from West Memphis.
[Feature Photo: Oliver Johnson, Jr./Facebook]