Midvale, UT – Multiple bodycam videos captured the moment when a four-year-old boy shot at police in a McDonald’s drive-thru in an attempt to “free” his father from being arrested (video below).
The little boy told investigators his dad also told him that “the police officer cannot open the door” to the car they were all sitting in when the incident began, according to WHNT.
He said he shot at the officers because “he wanted his daddy back,” according to police.
The incident occurred at the McDonald’s restaurant located at 7200 South and 425 West at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, after Johnson took his two children, ages three and four, to order food in the drive-thru, KSTU reported.
Restaurant employees later told police Johnson became irate after workers made a mistake with his order, according to KUTV.
They said he brandished a weapon while sitting outside the pick-up window and demanded they fix his order, according to police.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said the McDonald’s workers asked the armed suspect to pull off into a waiting area while they made the correction, then called police and told them a customer had pulled a gun on them, KUTV reported.
Bodycam footage showed Unified Police Department (UPD) officers surrounding the suspect’s vehicle and ordering him to get out of his car.
Officers did not immediately realize there were two young children in the backseat due to the heavily-tinted windows.
Johnson initially refused to exit the vehicle, but ultimately rolled down his window, the video showed.
Police opened the door and proceeded to struggle with the suspect to get him out of the vehicle and onto the pavement.
“Gun!” multiple officers yelled out as they wrestled with the suspect on the ground.
They were placing handcuffs on Johnson when a single gunshot rang out.
Officers said they saw a small hand and arm appear through the window from inside the vehicle as they were struggling with the suspect.
An astute officer was able to push the gun away as the child pulled the trigger, according to investigators.
The bullet hit an overhead awning, but did not directly strike the officer or any bystanders, KUTV reported.
The officer suffered either a burn or graze wound as a result of the shooting, investigators said.
“Drop the gun! Shots fired!” police yelled, just before they realized the shooter was actually a child.
“Kids! Kids! Kids!” the officer alerted.
Bodycam footage showed the officers helping the wailing little boy from the backseat of the car with his three-year-old sister in tow.
Officers took the children into the restaurant as they finished placing Johnson in custody.
“Our freaking heads were all right there,” one officer explained to another investigator who arrived at the scene. “I mean, had it been lower…”
Police said they recovered a Smith and Wesson SD9 VE 9mm handgun from inside Johnson’s vehicle, KUTV reported.
According to court documents, the four-year-old told a police officer who was waiting with him inside the restaurant why he fired his father’s gun.
“The male child on his own free will began talking to me. The male child told me ‘I grabbed my dad’s gun and tried to shoot the police so he could be free and do what he wanted,’” the officer’s report read.
Johnson allegedly told investigators his son had taken his gun in the past.
Johnson was later convicted of aggravated assault and child abuse, and was sentenced to 120 days in jail, followed by probation.
“This is a sad day for us, because the person that pulled that trigger was four years old,” Sheriff Rivera told KUTV shortly after the incident. “Just think [about] the gravity of that. A four-year-old was told, we believe by the father, to pull the trigger and shoot a police officer.”
The sheriff said the “campaign against police officers” cannot continue, KSTU reported.
“I’ve never seen anything like his in my 28 years,” she added. “We’re here to protect and serve.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Obscene Language: