Texas officer released from jail after arrest in boy's death

AP News
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Posted: Mar 17, 2016 1:24 PM
Texas officer released from jail after arrest in boy's death

ADDISON, Texas (AP) — A suburban Dallas police officer who shot and killed a teenage burglary suspect and wounded another boy while off-duty was released from jail on bond Thursday, authorities said.

Ken Johnson, a Farmers Branch police officer, was arrested Wednesday on murder and aggravated assault charges in the shootings Sunday in Addison. He posted $150,000 bond and left jail early Thursday, according to Melinda Urbina, of the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.

According to Addison police, Johnson, 35, was off-duty when he saw 16-year-old Jose Raul Cruz and the other boy burglarizing a vehicle at his apartment complex. He confronted them, they fled and he gave chase, catching up to them when their vehicle spun out about a half-mile away. An altercation ensued, during which Johnson shot the duo.

Cruz died at the scene. Police haven't released the name or age of the wounded boy, referring to him only as a juvenile. But a police affidavit obtained by WFAA-TV in Dallas identifies him as Edgar Rodriguez Arevalo and says he was a passenger in the car. It says he suffered gunshot wounds to his hands and head and was hospitalized.

Authorities haven't said whether the juveniles were armed or whether they might pursue any charges against the wounded boy. Johnson wasn't injured.

Johnson's attorney, Chris Livingston, has said the officer feared for his life and shot the duo in self-defense. Livingston didn't immediately respond to a phone message left Thursday seeking additional comment.

Addison police Chief Paul Spencer said in a statement Wednesday that there was "probable cause" to arrest Johnson, but that the investigation will likely take several more weeks to complete.

Farmers Branch police spokesman David Laisure declined to comment Wednesday, deferring questions to Addison police. Spencer previously said that Johnson had no disciplinary record. He also noted that department policies don't allow off-duty officers to chase suspects in their own vehicles.

According to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Johnson has worked for Farmers Branch police for a year. He worked as a peace officer for Dallas Area Rapid Transit for almost eight years before that.