On Tuesday afternoon, San Jose police reported that one of their officers, Michael Johnson, was shot in the line of duty on Senter Road.
Soon enough, the police identified 57-year-old Scott Dunham as the suspect, who was found dead at his place on the same Tuesday night around 3:30 a.m. San Jose police reported finding Dunham on his apartment’s balcony, dead and presenting a gunshot wound. Police said the cause of death is still under investigation.
The situation started unfolding around 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday, when San Jose police Officer Albert Morales responded to a report of an armed drunk man in his home at the 2600 block of Senter Road. He was threatening to kill himself, but instead he first shot outside his apartment, hitting an officer who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The entire block on Senter Road around Dunham’s apartment was evacuated, and authorities asked residents not to come back in their homes until Wednesday.
Johnson, the hit officer, used to cover patrols and also worked with recruits on field training. Fortunately, no recruits were present when Officer Johnson responded at the location of the incident.
Officer Albert Morales, who is also the San Police spokesman said that “officers were obviously crying, weeping. They will do so for quite some time.” Officer John will surely be missed by his colleagues.
After the tragic incident, San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel held a news conference in which he acknowledged the difficult situation that the police department and the entire community are. He also emphasized that whoever is responsible will surely be apprehended.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo spoke at the same news conference on Tueday, recognizing the loss that if felt throughout San Jose and the entire area. The mayor added that concerned authorities are not sparing any efforts in keeping the region safe for the community and bring the shooter to justice.
It was a really tense situation on Senter Road, as reporters were repeatedly asked to move even further due to the unpredictable character of the suspect. Officers were thorough and evacuated everyone, including the Carribee shopping center found on the same avenue.
Police officers were informing people they should either evacuate or shelter-in-place, as a suspect armed with a high-powered rifle was on the loose in the area. The Vietnamese restaurant on Senter Road has approximately 20 customers that were asked to remain in the restaurant, as the entire block was not safe.
Early on Wednesday, Twitter was flooded with condolences posts sent from police departments all over California. The police community united to send their thoughts and prayers to San Jose PD for their loss “of a fellow peace officer”.
It has been 14 years, according to the San Jose Police Department website, since an officer was killed in the line of duty: Officer Jeffrey M. Fontana.
Image Source: ABC7 News