UNION CITY, Ind. — Two brothers are in the Randolph County Jail following a Thursday morning vehicle pursuit which saw shots fired.
Michael D. Johnson, 28, and Bobby L. Johnson, 25, both of Union City, Indiana, were taken into custody February 15 after their involvement in a vehicle pursuit. While Michael was fleeing from officers in his vehicle, his brother, Bobby, attempted to distract police by shooting his AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, caliber .223/5.56.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Patrolman Tyler Hobbs observed Michael enter a vehicle and drive away from 1402 West Hickory Street. Hobbs was familiar with the fact that Michael’s driving status is considered a habitual traffic violator with a 10-year suspension. The officer observed the vehicle travel the wrong way, westbound, on West Hickory Street. Hobbs attempted to initiate a traffic stop near the intersection of North Jackson Pike and Taylor Street. Captain Justin Gower arrived to assist Hobbs as he was having Michael exit his vehicle.
Officers ordered Michael out of his vehicle and he began to walk back towards the officers, but then got back into his vehicle and drove off. Officers then pursued Michael for a few minutes, until the pursuit came to an end at the rear of his North Columbia Street residence. Sergeant Logan Shoemaker and his K-9 partner, Roki, had now arrived to assist in apprehending Michael, who exited his vehicle and laid down on the ground and was taken into custody. While in custody, Michael made threats towards officers about using a firearm to harm them in the future.
As the officers were dealing with the tail end of the pursuit, dispatch received numerous complaints of “Shots Fired” near the 1400 block of West Hickory. Officers received information that Bobby Johnson had walked out of his house and fired a rifle several times down the street. It was believed that Bobby had done this in an attempt to distract the officers and pull them away from his brother.
Randolph County Deputies and Union City, Ohio officers responded to assist with this incident.
Officers arrived at the Johnson’s residence and attempted to make contact with him. Bobby exited the house a short time later and was taken into custody. After receiving his Miranda Warnings, Bobby admitted to firing an AR-15 rifle into a grassy hill, approximately a block and a half away, and admitted to doing so to pull officers away from his brother.
A search warrant for the Johnsons’ residence was obtained and officers recovered the AR-15 rifle, along with several other firearms. Officers also located a small amount of a leafy substance which tested positive for marijuana, along with several smoking instruments.
Both brothers were taken to the Randolph County Jail and left in the care of the Jail Staff. Michael Johnson was booked on driving under suspension-HTV for 10-years, (a level 6 felony), resisting law enforcement, (level 6 felony), and intimidation on law enforcement, (level 6 felony). Bobby Johnson was booked on criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, (a level 5 felony), maintaining a common nuisance, (level 6 felony), and possession of marijuana, (B misdemeanor).
A spokesperson for the Union City Police said the department has contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF) and the agency will be looking at federal charges regarding the weapon.