Police: Sgt. Johnson is a Hero, Partner Under Investigation

By: By: Mike Waterhouse
By: By: Mike Waterhouse
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The City of Charleston released new information at a 2pm news conference about the investigation into an officer shot in the line of duty.

Detectives walked through the night's events. The shooting happened two weeks ago at that Days Inn in Kanawha City.

Sgt. Aaron James said that Sgt. Eric Johnson and his partner Captain Tim Tucker approached Brett Hanick's car in the parking lot after observing the car and Hanick sitting in the same position for at least three hours. Johnson approached on the driver's side, Tucker on the passenger side.

James said Johnson began questioning Hanick about why he was there, and Hanick acted suspiciously. Johnson then asked Hanick to step out of the car. As Hanick was getting out of the car, Johnson stepped back when Hanick reached back into the car. That's when James said Hanick turned around and shot Sgt. Johnson twice.

James said Sgt. Johnson immediately fired back and then ran around Hanick's car to his own car to take cover and call for help. His partner, Captain Tucker, ran away from the car and took cover near a building, according to James. James also said that Tucker did not have a firearm with him--it was in his desk drawer in his office.

Prior to Johnson and Tucker approaching the car, James said Johnson gave Tucker his portable radio. But during the scuffle, Tucker dropped the radio and did try to call for help, but was on the wrong channel.

The mayor and Chief Webster said that the actions of Sgt. Johnson are very heroic and he did everything he was supposed to do. They were very impressed with way he handled the situation.

Right now, Police Chief Brent Webster said Captain Tucker not having his gun is a matter of an internal investigation, but it is policy to carry one when on duty. Webster said he cannot comment further on this because it's a personnel matter.

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