Murdered Forrest City police officer laid to rest

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. -- Two weeks after a young Forrest City police officer was shot and killed by a stray bullet in his apartment, his loved ones and the community came together for his funeral.

Officer Oliver Johnson Jr., 25, was only on the force for three years when he was killed last month.

Johnson had accomplished more in his 25 short years than many ever do. He followed his dream of becoming a police officer – dedicating his life to serving others – was a father to two little girls and was planning a wedding to the love of his life.

"He was a very courteous, very respectful, very professional young man. And I felt that he had a long career in long enforcement," said St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May. "He was the kind of young people that we needed to get involved in law enforcement."

Johnson spent three years with the Forrest City Police Department and had just accepted a job in West Memphis, where he grew up.

But that all changed in an instant when bullets flew into his home on April 28 while he played video games with his daughter.

"It can happen to anyone," Sheriff May said. "Oliver was in his own residence, playing with his children, had no idea, no idea at all something like this was going to happen."

Investigators say a fight in his apartment complex parking lot lead to the gunfire.

Sheriff May places much of the blame on the very people who Johnson was tasked with protecting.

"It could have very well been someone else’s father, mother, child, grandmother, and it’s gotta stop somewhere," he said. "And the way we can stop it is if we all work together. The police department or policing agency is only as good as the community that supports it."

Law enforcement officers came from agencies across the Mid-South to pay their final respects to Johnson and the family he leaves behind.

"We are one big family, and I hope that God comes into their hearts and heals them and lets them go on with their lives," Sheriff May said.

The two men accused of killing Johnson, George Henderson and Demarcus Parker, are charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty.


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