Cop Accused of Bomb, Shootout Hoaxes Found Dead

Massachusetts officer believed to have died by suicide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2015 8:55 AM CST
Cop Accused of Bomb, Shootout Hoaxes Found Dead
Law enforcement officials walk along a street Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 in Millis, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

A sad end to a strange story: Bryan Johnson, a former police officer accused of calling in a bomb threat and faking a shootout earlier this year, was found dead in his Millis, Mass., home Thanksgiving morning—and authorities believe he died by his own hand, USA Today reports. The 24-year-old faced a potential sentence of more than 40 years in prison over the bizarre events of Sept. 2, when he allegedly fired his personal firearm into his own cruiser and told dispatchers a man in a pickup truck had shot at him and fled, reports the Boston Herald.

Prosecutors say Johnson, whose vehicle was found burning and crashed into a tree, called in a bomb threat to a local school the same day. The twin hoaxes caused the Boston-area town to be put on lockdown for hours during a huge manhunt, CBS reports. Johnson, a police dispatcher who worked part-time as an officer, was fired after authorities decided there had been a hoax. He was indicted on six charges last week and, according to court records seen by USA Today, was on home confinement at the time of his death. (An Illinois police officer tried to hire a hit man before he staged his own death.)

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