Charleston, WV – A Charleston police officer is fighting for her life after being shot in the face while responding to a parking complaint on Tuesday afternoon.
Charleston Police Officer Cassie Johnson, 28, remains in grave condition at the Charleston Area Medical Center, where law enforcement officers from across the area have been standing watch by her beside throughout the night, WOWK reported.
“Officer Johnson was struck in what would normally be a killer wound, but in the true fighting spirit of the Charleston Police Department and those who are truly called to serve, she has a pulse,” Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt said during a press conference outside the hospital on Tuesday night.
“She’s not out of the woods and is going to be recovering and we hope and pray that she makes a full recovery,” the chief said.
“I thank God every moment she’s still with us,” Chief Hunt added.
Tune in at 11 o'clock @WOWK13News for the latest information on the officer involved shooting in Charleston.
Our thoughts and prayers are with 27-year-old Officer Cassie Johnson and her family, as she fights for her life tonight. pic.twitter.com/wsLYJwgp7Z
— Cassidy Wood (@CassidyWoodTV) December 2, 2020
Officer Johnson worked as a humane officer with the city prior to joining the Charleston Police Department (CPD) on Jan. 11, 2019, WOWK reported.
“Not only do we need your prayers tonight for Cassie, but we need prayers tonight for her mother Cheryl, her sister Chelsie, but also for our first responders who make these calls every single day,” Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said during the press conference.
The alleged gunman was later found suffering from a gunshot wound, WCHS reported.
Investigators believe he was hit when Officer Johnson returned fire, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Sergeant Brian Humphreys said.
— Rachel Urbanski (@RachelUrbanski) December 2, 2020
The attack occurred in the 200-block of Garrison Avenue at about 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 1, as Officer Johnson was handling a parking complaint, WCHS reported.
Details regarding what occurred in the moments prior to Officer Johnson being shot in the face have not been released.
The alleged gunman fled the scene in a red Dodge Durango just before 3 p.m., according to WOWK.
He was apprehended by police at a second location on Garrison Avenue, WCHS reported.
The gunman also remained hospitalized early Wednesday morning, according to WOWK.
Over 70 law enforcement officers responded to the scene to help Officer Johnson.
“What would normally be a fatal wound, in the true fighting spirit of the Charleston Police Department…she is a fighter. She has a pulse.”
Cassie Johnson was the officer shot earlier today, according to Chief Tyke Hunt. This is a WCHS picture from her swearing in in Jan. 2019. pic.twitter.com/a1o7Dpb50t
— Lauren Talotta (@LaurenTalottaTV) December 1, 2020
Many more gathered at the hospital to support her and her family in the hours that followed.
Officer Johnson underwent surgery late Tuesday afternoon, WOWK reported.
The KCSO is handling the ongoing investigation into the shooting.
After her swearing-in ceremony nearly two years ago, Officer Johnson told reporters that becoming a law enforcement officer had been a longtime goal for her.
“It’s been a dream of mine for a while and I am happy to see it come to fruition,” she told WOWK at the time. “I’ve been working extremely hard over the last year to get ready for it. I am really happy to finally getting to follow my dreams in working with Charleston PD.”