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Chief Says Off-Duty Texas Officer's Actions That Culminated in Fatal Shooting Were Outside Policy

March 17, 2016  | 

Officer Ken Johnson (Photo: Farmers Branch PD)
Officer Ken Johnson (Photo: Farmers Branch PD)

An off-duty Farmers Branch, TX, police officer who shot and killed a 16-year-old over the weekend was not following policy when he chased the teen in his personal vehicle, the town’s police chief said Tuesday.

Nor should Officer Ken Johnson have brought the chase to a halt by ramming the car of Jose Raul Cruz. “That’s just something we don’t do,” Chief Sid Fuller said.

The chief added, however, that as long as the shooting remains under investigation, he would not discuss it in detail. He declined, for example, to say whether Cruz or a second person shot by Johnson, a passenger in Cruz’s car, was armed. Nor did he offer any information about what authorities have described as an “altercation” leading up to the shooting.

Police said the trouble began when Johnson, at home Sunday evening at his Addison apartment complex, saw the two teens breaking into a vehicle. When he confronted them, they fled in Cruz’s Dodge Challenger. Johnson pursued them in his SUV, said Addison Police Chief Paul Spencer, who joined Fuller at the news conference.

The teens’ car spun out of control about a half-mile from the apartment complex, at Marsh Lane and Spring Valley Road in Addison, Spencer said. That was where the “altercation” ensued and the officer opened fire, Spencer said.

Cruz was killed at the scene. Edgar Rodríguez, a classmate of Cruz’s, was shot in the head. He underwent surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital and is expected to survive, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Robert @ 3/17/2016 1:27 PM

Out of policy...that seems like an understatement...sounds closer to criminal?
You mean you can't chase a car thief down the road, ram the car and kill him....all the while endangering the public? For what, so your new car won't get chopped? The reason you write a check to the insurance company every month is so things like this have no impact on your life....this isn't 1840, where being stranded without your 'horse' was a life or death issue.

Plato's Playdough @ 3/17/2016 7:46 PM

Robert champions the criminal element once again, on his knightly white horse.

OK then @ 3/20/2016 3:55 PM

There is an unusual trend of blaming people for trying to do the right thing rather than the ones who caused the incident in the first place by doing the wrong thing.

Robert @ 3/20/2016 7:04 PM

Ok then...if you do not understand the legal system, you should get out of the LE line of business.
1. I have no problem with the people in this case being arrested for Car Theft and prosecuted as anyone else would be....but this guy was off duty and acted outside the law.
2. You need to understand a very simple concept. Duty of Care.
If someone commits an act that places them in danger (jay walking for instance)...everyone still has a duty of care to not run over that person (just because they are jay walking you cannot run them over).
If someone steals your car...and they are not threatening cannot use deadly force. How is this not straight forward.
Of course, the LEO knows this also...and he will now claim that he saw a gun (cell phone makes a good gun, when you need an excuse)...and probably get off.
The city will be sued, for lack of training.
A $5MM payout will be authorized.
Everyone walks away whole..except the dead guy and the taxpayer.
Same old story

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/27/2016 6:38 PM

So what did he do wrong. He is a Police Officer after all. Even off duty he thinks like a Police Officer. For him its natural to chase Car thieves.

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