Two suspects arrested in shooting death of off-duty officer

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — After nearly two weeks on the run, two men have been arrested for the death of an off-duty Forrest City police officer.

Demarcus Parker and George Henderson are accused of killing Oliver Johnson while he sat in his West Memphis home in April.

Investigators say Johnson was simply caught in the crossfire when a bullet went through his window after a fight in his West Memphis apartment complex's parking lot. The father and fiance was minding his own business.

"The poor man is literally sitting on his couch playing X-BOX, five children in the apartment and this ridiculousness happens in the parking lot and he loses his life as a result of it, just tragic and senseless," explained Captain Joe Baker, with the West Memphis Police Department. 

 Parker was arrested Wednesday at his Marion, Arkansas home and booked into the Crittenden County Detention Facility on charges relating to Officer Johnson's death. Police say he was driving and Henderson fired the fatal shot.

In February, WREG reported Parker had been arrested by West Memphis Police. At the time he was classified as a "top-priority offender" and was pulled over for driving on a suspended license. As they were towing his car, they discovered a high-powered pistol inside.

With two prior domestic battery convictions, the discovery meant Parker was eligible for federal firearms charges.

"But through some appeal statuses of a domestic case he had we were unable to prosecute him. so he's been one of those that just skated slightly off the radar," said Baker.

To be clear, police said Parker didn't have a lot of convictions, but had been present at a lot of crime incidents and also had several arrests.

A co-defendant, George Henderson, was also charged in Johnson's death and taken into custody on Thursday on Alabama near Jones in Memphis.

Alabama near Jones

 

West Memphis police say Henderson has been a person of interest since the shooting, but they only recently gathered enough evidence to issue a warrant. They have been searching for Henderson since Wednesday morning, but have been unable to find him.

WREG spoke with Johnson's friend and colleague after he heard the news of the arrest.

 " Absolutely ecstatic, relieved. Just a sigh of relief, the family is going to get some justice," said Lt. Eric Varner.
 

Police charged a different man with Johnson's murder, but quickly dropped the charges because, they said, the man's alibi checked out.

Anyone with information on Henderson is asked to contact the Crittenden County Crime Stoppers at 870-732-4444 or the West Memphis Police Department 870-735-1210.