San Jose Cop Killed by Suicidal Gunman: Police

Michael Johnson was first officer killed in line of duty in the city since 2001
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2015 8:07 AM CDT
San Jose Cop Killed by Suicidal Gunman: Police
A veteran San Jose police officer was shot and killed Tuesday night; the suspect was found dead hours after the shooting.   (Breaking News)

A San Jose cop died last night, apparently at the hands of a suicidal gunman, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, in the California city's first fatal shooting of an officer in 14 years. Michael Johnson, a field training officer reportedly engaged to be married, was responding to a call that suspect Scott Dunham was drunk and threatening to kill himself. As officers surrounded the apartment where Dunham was holed up, a man on the balcony opened fire shortly after 7pm; Johnson was struck and died on the scene. Police gained entrance to the apartment a few hours later using explosives, and a robotic camera found Dunham's body on the balcony around 3:30am, the San Jose Mercury News reports. San Jose's last officer to die in the line of duty, Jeffrey Fontana in 2001, was said to have been in the same police academy class as Johnson.

Dunham's wife—who had earlier fled the apartment after he reportedly said she would die if "she didn't leave," per the Chronicle—had informed police that the 57-year-old had access to weapons, including a rifle, and might harm himself or others, the Los Angeles Times reports. Dunham reportedly suffered one gunshot wound, police say, though it's not clear yet if it was self-inflicted or if he was injured by police gunfire, the Mercury News notes. "This is San Jose's darkest hour," Mayor Sam Liccardo said last night, per the Times. Tragedy also struck law enforcement last night in Wisconsin, per the Fond du Lac Reporter: A state trooper was shot and killed during a gunfire exchange with a bank robbery suspect. (More San Jose stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.