Lakewood Police Officers responded to 27 Rips Lane SW for a domestic violence call on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011, at approximately 10 PM. When the officers arrived, the male half of the dispute was gone and had fled the scene in a vehicle. The 37 year old female victim complained to officers that the suspect had punched her and strangled her with his hands. Officers noted visible marks and injuries to the female’s face and throat. Medical aid was requested for the female by the on-scene officers. The couple had been previously married, but just recently finalized their divorce a few weeks ago. It appears the argument that precipitated the call was over their strained relationship. The female was in the residence along with her three children, ages 13, 12, and 4.
The on-scene officers broadcast the suspect information and vehicle description to dispatch and other local police units. They advised that there was probable cause to arrest the suspect for Felony Domestic Violence Assault. The suspect was identified as DANIELL A. JOHNSON, a 35 year old black male. It was reported that he had fled the scene in a white Nissan sedan type vehicle. While the officers were on scene, the suspect called the victim and the phone was handed to one of the officers. The suspect told the officers he was nearby and the officers told him they needed to talk to him. JOHNSON only stated that “It doesn’t matter.” and repeated this before going silent and hanging up.
An officer patrolling nearby located the white vehicle with JOHNSON inside driving back to the scene. The officer conducted a stop on the vehicle in front of the residence. As soon as the vehicle stopped, a gunshot was fired inside the suspect vehicle. It appeared that the suspect may have shot himself, but the officers could not tell for sure because of the dark tinted windows. The vehicle was surrounded by officers from a safe and tactical position until more help could arrive.
Several attempts were made to communicate with the driver of the suspect vehicle, but there was no response. Officers could still not see what was going on inside the suspect’s car. Several attempts were made to break out the windows of the vehicle using less lethal projectile type weapons. The windows would not break up enough to see inside because the window tinting film was holding them together. A tactical team with a shield was sent up to try and determine the condition of the suspect while the victim and her children were being taken out of the rear of the house to safety. The tactical team converged on the car and three shots were fired into the vehicle by a team member who is a Lakewood Police Officer. Officers removed a handgun from the suspect and secured the scene. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene and no officers or citizens were injured in any way during the incident.
The female victim was transported to the hospital for treatment of her injuries from the strangulation and assault. The children were not injured and are not in any danger. Lakewood Police Major Crimes Detectives were called out to conduct an investigation into what led up to the officer involved shooting and it is ongoing. Investigators from the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office responded to assist along with the Pierce County Medical Examiner. Results of the autopsy are still pending and no information about the autopsy is available for release at this time.
We have responded to the residence four other times in 2010 for domestic violence related calls. The victim had obtained a temporary no contact order against JOHNSON on September 8th, 2010, that was later dismissed on September 22nd, 2010.
The Lakewood Officer involved in the shooting is a 14 year veteran and came to Lakewood PD as a lateral hire in of 2004. The officer is on paid administrative leave per department policy while the investigation is being conducted.
More details on the investigation will be released once they become available.