Like any death, this video proves extremely difficult to watch. It also highlights the inherent, extreme danger of the job. In the blink of an eye, a situation turned deadly. A bad guy pulled a gun, and an officer took fatal fire. This is the tragic story of Tulsa officer Sgt. Craig Johnson, killed in the line of duty.
Sgt. Craig Johnson Killed in the Line of Duty
Footage shows the deadly incident that occurred on June 29 in Tulsa. It shows officers struggle to apprehend 33-year-old David Anthony Ware. Police said the video shows Ware pulling a gun from beneath his driver’s seat. The move catches both officers off guard. Ware then shoots Officer Aurash Zarkeshan in the head, severely wounding him. Zarkeshan survived the shooting. However, after that, Ware fires multiple shots into Johnson, which left the 15-year veteran dead.
“Tulsa’s a city that loves and honors heroes,” Tulsa mayor G.T. Bynum told Tulsa World. “Today we feel the tremendous pain of losing one. In the days ahead, I hope that both the Johnson family and the men and women of the Tulsa Police Department will feel our city gathered around them, showing that same love for them that Sgt. Johnson and his sacrifice showed for us.”
“You know, we’re supposed to be a civilized society. We’re supposed to be a society that is different, is modern,” Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said. “Yet to me it seems as though criminals have more … rights than what you and I do. They have more rights than what our law enforcement officers do.
“You would never be allowed publicly to see the execution of a criminal, yet today you get to publicly see the execution of a police officer,” Franklin added. “What kind of society is that?”
Is Anti-Police Rhetoric to Blame?
In law enforcement circles, much like the recent L.A. ambush that left two officers critically wounded, the shooting becomes further proof of a changing environment for officers. An extremely dangerous job becomes inherently more dangerous during this time of civil unrest.
“As I’ve spoken with police overnight and into this morning, we can’t help but see the work of the national anti-police narrative here,” Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Jerad Lindsey wrote on Facebook, reported Tulsa World. “Enough is enough. For these officers and for everyone else on the force leaving their own families today to go selflessly serve others, we must recognize the real impact of anti-police rhetoric and take real action to stop violence against police.”