More details provided in fatal shooting of Dion Johnson in Phoenix

Jun 3, 2020, 10:29 PM | Updated: Jun 4, 2020, 5:39 am
(KTAR News 92.3 FM Photo/Griselda Zetino)...
(KTAR News 92.3 FM Photo/Griselda Zetino)
(KTAR News 92.3 FM Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department on Wednesday night provided additional details surrounding the fatal shooting of Dion Johnson.

Johnson, 28, was killed after being shot by an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper on May 25 — the same day Minnesotan George Floyd died in police custody — around 5:30 a.m. Initial reports had described a “struggle” that preceded the shooting.

Authorities have said there was no known video footage of the incident; neither trooper was equipped with body cameras and their motorcycles had no dash cameras, police said.

But AZFamily captured the scene on Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard via Arizona Department of Transportation cameras. The station said it had heard about a shooting in the area so began recording.

Police said on the morning of the shooting a trooper on patrol noticed a parked car creating a traffic hazard, according to a press release.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the trooper could smell alcohol as he found Johnson passed out in the driver’s seat.

The trooper also saw a gun and beer cans in the vehicle. After securing the gun, he returned to his motorcycle to request backup.

“At this point, he noticed Mr. Johnson moving around so he returned to the vehicle and attempted to arrest Mr. Johnson for suspicion of driving impaired,” the release stated.

During the attempted arrest, an altercation ensued through the open driver’s side door, which the trooper said caused him to fear he’d be pushed into oncoming traffic.

He then drew his weapon and began issuing commands to Johnson.

“Mr. Johnson began to comply but as the Trooper was holstering his gun, Mr. Johnson reached for the gun and a second altercation ensued,” according to the release.

“The Trooper fearing for his life then fired his service weapon striking Mr. Johnson. A second Trooper arrived after the shooting and assisted in removing Mr. Johnson from the vehicle.”

On Monday, Arizona Rep. Reginald Bolding wrote a letter to DPS Director Col. Heston Silbert seeking more transparency in the case.

The additional details from DPS came after Phoenix demonstrators took to the streets for the seventh day in a row to protest police abuse.

The investigation is ongoing.

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More details provided in fatal shooting of Dion Johnson in Phoenix