Police Officer Waldis Vanness "Jay" Johnson

Police Officer Waldis Vanness "Jay" Johnson

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Sunday, May 31, 2020

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Waldis Vanness "Jay" Johnson

Police Officer Jay Johnson succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained on April 30th, 2017, while responding to a domestic violence call at 10075 Joy Road.

He and fellow officer Darren Maurice Weathers approached a common front door to the apartment complex, which was locked. After several minutes of knocking on the door, a man unrelated to the call for service came downstairs, opened the door, and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at Officer Johnson.

Officer Johnson immediately grabbed the firearm and began to struggle with the subject. Officer Johnson let go of the firearm to draw his service weapon. They both fired simultaneously. Officer Johnson was struck once in the head, and the subject was struck twice by Officer Johnson. Officer Weathers also returned fire before pulling Officer Johnson from the entryway. The subject died at the scene.

Officer Johnson suffered a traumatic brain injury and remained in a rehabilitation facility until his death.

Officer Johnson had served with the Detroit Police Department for 17 years. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.

Police Officer Weathers, who pulled him to safety, was killed in the line of duty in a vehicle crash on Feb. 13, 2018.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge 2591

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, April 30, 2017
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

ambush, domestic

Most Recent Reflection

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I would like to express great sympathy for the family and friends of Corporal Johnson.

Although I never had the honor of meeting you Corporal Johnson, I am still very proud to have you as my silent partner. I have learned good things about you, like how you served in the US military, and earning your associates degree in business from Henry Ford College. You seemed to be a great husband and father to your wife, and three children. Your story will be forever in my heart. Thank you for your sacrifice Corporal Johnson.

SPO. DeMoss, D’Angelo
Detroit Police Department

April 11, 2023

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