State, local officials express sympathy for fallen SJPD officer

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU and wires) -- Local and state officials, including Gov. Jerry Brown, Wednesday expressed sympathy for the family of a 38-year-old San Jose police officer shot to death while on duty Tuesday in East San Jose.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and San Jose's police union were among those to issue statements following the death of Officer Michael Johnson, a 14-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department.

"Anne (Brown) and I extend our deepest condolences to Officer Johnson's family, friends and fellow officers," Brown said in statement from Sacramento, where he ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff.

"Officer Johnson will be remembered for his courage and dedicated service and we join the entire San Jose community in mourning this tragic loss," Brown said.

Johnson's parents, Katherine Decker and Daniel Johnson, survive him, according to the governor's office.

San Jose police reported that Johnson was killed at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday after officers exchanged gunfire with the alleged shooter, 57-year-old Scott Dunham, at an apartment in the 2600 block of Senter Road.

Dunham was located at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday lying dead from at least one gunshot wound on a balcony of the apartment. Police have not yet said whether he died from a shot fired by officers or a self-inflicted shot.

A family member of Dunham's phoned police Tuesday evening saying he was despondent, intoxicated, possibly had access to weapons, including a rifle, and might hurt someone, police said.

Dunham, who was alone in the apartment, allegedly started firing gunshots from the residence at responding officers, who returned fire, according to police.

Johnson, who also worked as a field training officer, was wounded and died at the scene.

Officers set up a perimeter around the neighborhood to prevent the suspect's escape and remained outside for several hours until Dunham's body was discovered early this morning.

Police said that officers had no contact with Dunham from after the shooting to when his body was found and it was possible he had been dead on his balcony during the intervening hours.

Harris, in a statement from Sacramento, said she wanted to "extend my deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Officer Michael Johnson, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of his community and his state."

"My condolences also go out to Chief Larry Esquivel and the entire San Jose Police Department, which has lost not only a dedicated colleague, but a family member," she said.

"Yesterday's tragedy is a grave reminder of the risks that our law enforcement officers take each day when they put on the badge to protect their communities. The state of California and her people shall forever be indebted to these brave men and women for their service," Harris said.

Rosen, in a statement, said that the "daily risks and sacrifices of our police officers are bluntly measured by these sad and tragic days."

"Michael Johnson lost his life, a life spent protecting ours, trying to help someone who had lost the value of his own. I hope today we will all take a moment to honor the value of this valiant officer's life," he said.

Tom Saggau, spokesman for the San Jose Police Officers' Association, in a statement also expressed condolences to the family and friends of Johnson, who was "tragically struck down in the prime of his life while protecting and serving the residents of San Jose."

"Even during this time of grief and sorrow the men and women who make up the San Jose Police Department did their jobs last night and ensured that the community was protected and that the coward who perpetrated this horrific crime did not harm anyone else," Saggau said.

Saggau thanked people in law agencies from "throughout the country" who have expressed their sympathy over Johnson's death.

"We also owe a debt of gratitude to our local law enforcement family who deployed officers and sheriff deputies to assist during this unmitigated tragedy," he said. "Their selflessness honored the spirit of our fallen brother, Officer Michael Johnson."

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors president Dave Cortese Wednesday ordered flags flown at half-staff at all county facilities until April 1 in honor of Johnson.