Texas officer who killed teen arrested on murder charge

An undated photo shows Farmers Branch police officer Ken Johnson. Photo: CBS News

ADDISON, Texas —An off-duty suburban Dallas police officer who fatally shot a 16-year-old and wounded another juvenile has been arrested charges of murder and aggravated assault, CBS affiliate KTVT reported.

The shooting happened Sunday evening at a gas station in Addison, according to KTVT. Officials have said that Johnson saw a vehicle being burglarized in his apartment complex parking lot and that he gave chase when the suspects fled. After the suspects’ vehicle spun out about a half-mile away, an altercation led to the shooting.

Jose Raul Cruz was killed and the other juvenile, who also was shot, was hospitalized. Cruz’s family held a funeral Wednesday night.

Johnson’s attorney has said he feared for his life. Johnson was not injured. Authorities have not said whether the juveniles were armed.

“Based on our investigation thus far we had probable cause to make the arrest this evening,” Addison Police Chief Paul Spencer said in a statement. “But this is a rapidly-evolving situation and it remains an active investigation. Therefore, we are refraining at this time from discussing the evidence collected thus far or about the specifics of this case. We expect there are still several weeks of additional investigative work to do.”

Johnson was assigned to the patrol division after joining the Farmers Branch Police Department in March of 2015. Prior to joining Farmers Branch, he was a police officer with Dallas Area Rapid Transit and previously served in the United States Army, according to a news release from Farmers Branch Police.

He was placed on administrative leave with pay while the department conducted an internal administrative investigation of his conduct. The Dallas County District Attorney’s office was also investigating.

Farmers Branch police spokesman David Laisure declined to comment Wednesday, deferring to Addison police. Spencer previously has said that Johnson had no disciplinary record. He also noted that department policies do not allow off-duty officers to chase suspects in their own vehicles.

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