A cop in eastern Oregon was shot after getting a call about a violent person hurting property and threatening others near a home.
Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe said in a news statement that 43-year-old Nyssa Police Department Reserve Officer Joseph Johnson was shot and killed on Saturday, April 15, around 8:30 p.m. The officer had been chasing a car that finally stopped, which is when Johnson was k!lled.
“Officer Johnson learned the suspect had fled in a vehicle and began a pursuit through the city,” Goldthorpe said in the release. “When it appeared, the vehicle was stopping at the residence at the corner of Locust and 3rd Street N.; Officer Johnson also pulled off the road.”
As soon as Johnson stopped, a person with a fire arm, later named Rene Castro, started shooting at him. Johnson was k!lled.
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“There was no time to return fire before Officer Johnson was fatally hit. EMTs were on scene in record time, with the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department right behind, but Officer Johnson was already deceased,” Goldthorpe said in the release.
Goldthorpe said that soon after, an Oregon State trooper came and helped a sheriff’s officer set up a barrier and talk to possible witnesses.
Castro immediately ran away from the scene, and no one found him.
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The Oregon State Police are in charge of the probe. The Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, the Ontario Police, and almost every other police force from Idaho to La Grande, including the federal government, are also helping. According to Captain Dan Conner of the OSP office in La Grande, several OSP police from the Union County area are helping with the search.
“The appreciation, love, and concern of all citizens of Malheur County go out to the family of Officer Johnson,” Goldthorpe said in the release. “The Fallen Badge Foundation is accepting donations on behalf of the family.”
According to state records, Johnson’s first job in law enforcement was as a prison guard at Snake River Correctional Institution outside of Ontario in October 2007. In August 2018, he was hired as a backup cop by the Nyssa Police Department. Johnson got an associate of arts degree from Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario in 1999, a bachelor’s degree in 2006, and a master’s degree in 2020.