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Hero Down: Lee County School District PD Officer Johnny Patterson Dies After Being Hit By Motorist While Directing Traffic

Tupelo, MS – Lee County School District Police Department (LCSDPD) School Resource Officer Johnny Patterson died in the line of duty Jan. 21, more than a week after he was hit by a car while directing traffic outside an elementary school.

The 59-year-old officer was also serving as assistant chief of the Verona Police Department (VPD) at the time of his death, according to his obituary.

The fatal collision occurred at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Jan. 13, as Officer Patterson was directing traffic on four-laned Highway 45 outside Shannon Primary School, the Daily Journal reported.

A northbound vehicle crashed into the back of his patrol car, which then slammed into him.

Officer Patterson suffered major trauma to his stomach and chest, as well as fractures to his neck and face, the Daily Journal reported.

He was rushed to North Mississippi Medical Center in critical condition and was placed on life support, according to WTVA.

Officer Patterson did not regain consciousness after the crash, the Daily Journal reported.

He passed away at 5:25 p.m. on Jan. 21.

The driver responsible for the collision remained at the scene and has been cooperating with investigators, the Daily Journal reported.

It is unclear if any charges will be filed.

Officer Patterson began his law enforcement career as a reserve officer with the Shannon Police Department (SPD), according to his obituary.

He graduated from the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Center in 1997 and served the SPD for five years prior to joining the LCSDPD.

Officer Patterson worked as a school resource officer at Shannon High School for 13 years while simultaneously holding other jobs as a law enforcement officer with the Nettleton Police Department, the Plantersville Police Department, and the VPD, according to his obituary.

He was serving as a school resource officer at Shannon Primary School and was the assistant chief of the VPD at the time of his death.

Officer Patterson leaves behind his wife of 36 years, Carol, as well as his sons, Cody and Corey, and his granddaughters, Autumn and Jennifer, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his siblings, nieces, and nephews.

Officer Patterson was laid to rest on Jan. 24.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lee County School District Police Department School Resource Officer Johnny Patterson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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