Police searching for suspects in slain Forrest City police officer’s death


Officer Johnson

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has learned new information in the drive-by shooting in West Memphis that left a Forrest City police officer dead.

West Memphis police say they're following up on a few leads in the investigation into the death of Forrest City Police Officer Oliver Johnson Jr.

They say the shooting is likely gang related, and Johnson wasn't the intended target.

"He was a young guy just starting his life. He had a couple of kids. They were young," said WMPD Capt. Joe Baker.

Police said two groups got into it at Meadow Apartments on South Avalon Saturday afternoon when someone started firing eight to 10 rounds from a car.

The bullets went right into an apartment they weren't aiming for.

Police say Johnson was playing a video game with his 3-year-old daughter when he was hit by a bullet.

He was killed the day after his daughter's birthday at just 25-years-old.

"He was interested in coming over to work with us. He was a local guy in the community. A very nice young man," said Baker.

Loved ones tell WREG Officer Johnson had two children and was engaged.

His wedding was just two months away.

Fellow officers told WREG Officer Johnson was a man with big dreams who hoped to change his community.

"He was always at any community events. He wanted to help out with that kind of thing," said Forrest City Lt. Eric Verner. "This literally shows you how this could affect anybody."

Officers say they've also been looking at recent crime in the area and believe this could be connected to at least one shooting.

They say just north of the complex is one of the most dangerous areas in West Memphis, and they're working to fix that.

They say you can help them by calling in any information you have.

There could be up to a $2,000 reward leading to an arrest.

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