Longview, Wash. — The Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team (LCMCT) was activated on September 2, 2023, to conduct an independent investigation into an Officer-Involved Shooting incident involving Longview Police Officers. The LCMCT has released the following details based on their preliminary investigation, which included witness interviews, scene processing, dispatch logs, body-worn camera review, and other evidence:
At 1400 hours on September 2, 2023, Cowlitz 911 received a report of a male subject passed out in his vehicle. Staff at Minami Teriyaki, located at 1208 15th Ave in Longview, reported that the male driver was passed out while in their drive-thru line. Despite their attempts to wake the subject, he remained unresponsive. Medical units responded to the scene and administered Narcan (Naloxone) to the subject, leading to his regaining consciousness. The subject subsequently exhibited aggressive behavior and made threats towards the medical units. He then drove away, displaying signs of impairment.
Longview Police Department (LPD) officers responded to the area and located the suspect’s vehicle, identified as an orange Dodge Challenger, near the intersection of 15th Ave and Hudson St. The uniformed officers were operating marked patrol vehicles and initiated an attempt to stop the suspect vehicle. The driver was later identified as Louis Earl Johnson, Jr., a 30-year-old resident of Seattle. Officers reported that Johnson attempted to evade them, running a red light, driving at high speeds, suddenly braking, and even putting the vehicle in reverse. Officers attempted to use a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT), but they were unable to stop the suspect vehicle.
The pursuit continued until it reached the area of 19th Ave and Florida St, where officers managed to block the suspect vehicle in. At this point, Johnson produced a pistol and fired multiple shots at one of the officers, striking the officer’s patrol vehicle. In response, three LPD officers returned fire, striking Johnson. Immediately following the exchange of gunfire, officers administered first aid to Johnson. Despite their efforts, Johnson was declared deceased at the scene. Fortunately, none of the officers involved sustained injuries.
LCMCT investigators determined that Johnson was in unlawful possession of a 9mm semiautomatic pistol. The pistol, which bore no serial number, was identified as an unlawfully manufactured “ghost gun.” Johnson was found to be wearing a holster for this pistol on his hip.
This incident is currently under investigation by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team to determine the circumstances and details surrounding the officer-involved shooting. Further updates and findings will be provided as the investigation progresses.