HPD releases video of man firing at officers before he was shot and killed

Pooja Lodhia Image
Monday, January 24, 2022
Bodycam shows man firing at HPD before he's shot and killed
Police were responding to a 'shots fired' call in southeast Houston when an armed man began firing at them. Police bodycam shows the moment leading up to the shot that killed the man.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Police Department released body camera footage from Dec. 26, 2021 of a shooting that killed 41-year-old Christopher Johnson in southeast Houston.

Christopher Johnson's brother, Clarence Johnson, said his brother had a mental illness, but refused help.

"If you're being shot at, you've gotta do, what you've gotta do," said Clarence Johnson, "If you got family members that are showing symptoms and out there, get them help before police get them."

"That people know what's going on with people's mental health and illness and know the signs and do something to save him," said Christopher Johnson's close friend, Yolanda Bacon. "Not just labeling him as an armed suspect. If you knew him, you know he wasn't like that."

The video shows two officers and one sergeant in a short stand-off between Christopher Johnson and police that lasted less than four minutes.

Police say, Christopher Johnson ignored the sergeant's repeated instructions to put his hands on the car. He then reached for his weapon and began to shoot, in response, police opened fire.

"Sadly, we would like to believe there are other ways you can de-escalate the scenes, but there are some people you just can't do that with," said Houston Police Officers' Union President Doug Griffith.

Murders in Houston have been up 18% in 2021 from 2020 and more than a dozen homicides have been reported this year.

"A lot of these officers are scared. You're one bad call away from getting yourself hurt or turning around and getting indicted," Griffith said. "Sometimes you feel like it's never going to end. It feels like you're just on a hamster wheel continuously running and you just want to get off."

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