Patrolman James Spencer Johnson

Patrolman James Spencer Johnson

East Lansing Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Thursday, October 25, 1984

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James Spencer Johnson

Patrolman James Johnson was shot and killed inside an apartment while attempting to arrest a woman for auto theft at the East Glen Elderly Apartments at 1801 Hagadorn Road in East Lansing.

As he struggled with the woman, her male companion emerged from a bathroom and shot him in the back of the head. The two fled on foot to a nearby residence, where they shot and killed the unsuspecting owner. As they were trying to steal her car, they were arrested by police.

The man was convicted of first-degree murder and second-degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The woman was acquitted of Patrolman Johnson's murder but was convicted of the other murder and sentenced to life.

Patrolman Johnson was a United States Army Vietnam veteran and had served with the East Lansing Police Department for 11 years. He was survived by his wife and six children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge 15

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 14 Reflections

Miss this man dearly. He was a great uncle and friend. We miss you Uncle Jim. ❤

Laura Ferris

March 5, 2022

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