Patrolman John E. Johnson

Patrolman John E. Johnson

Holliston Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Thursday, August 13, 1981

John E. Johnson

Patrolman Johnson was shot and killed with his own service weapon after stopping a stolen vehicle.

Patrolman Johnson was on patrol when he observed the vehicle. He began following the vehicle and was waiting for backup before attempting to stop the vehicle. The driver of the car suddenly pulled into a parking lot and stopped the car, forcing Patrolman Johnson to initiate a felony traffic stop before his backup arrived. When he ordered both occupants out of the vehicle the passenger fled on foot. Patrolman Johnson stayed with the driver, who then also attempted to flee.

Patrolman Johnson was able to catch one of the suspects but during the ensuing struggle the man was able to gain control of his service weapon and shot him. The suspect then shot him twice more as he lay on the ground.

The suspects were apprehended three hours later following a massive manhunt, however, Patrolman Johnson's service weapon was never located.

Patrolman Johnson's killer was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life. He was denied parole for the fourth time in April of 2009. He will be eligible for parole again in April of 2014.

Patrolman Johnson had served with the Holliston Police Department for 6 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Car 5

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

For some, 36 years ago is ancient history. For most of us, it was yesterday. Your children are grown now and no doubt think of you very often, if not every single day.

The scum who murdered you was last eligible for parole in 2014. That was 3 years ago. I hope he was laughed out of the room. I should have checked but, alas, I did not.

You would have been retired by now, enjoying your grand kids and looking back on a wonderful career. You were denied that and your family denied that as well by a sniveling rat. He no doubt, has never forgotten you and I hope and pray it eats at him every single day. He should be shown less mercy than your family was shown by him.

Brother, God Bless you, thank you for your service to the people of the Commonwealth and may your eternal rest be EVER peaceful. You earned it.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Dept.

August 13, 2017

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