AG: Man shot by Johnson City police officers had pointed gun at citizens downtown

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — After nearly a week of investigation, authorities have still not released the name of the man shot by police officers in downtown Johnson City.

The shooting happened last Thursday around 8 p.m. near Founders Park and a popular restaurant and brewery. Johnson City police officers originally responded to reports of an armed man in the 100 block of Buffalo Street.

Police investigate following the shooting on May 27

On Wednesday, the TBI said its investigation into the officer-involved shooting is ongoing.

Washington County District Attorney General Ken Baldwin said JCPD officers shot at the man after he threatened people downtown with a handgun.

Baldwin told News Channel 11 the man is a 52-year-old from Michigan who was formerly in the military. Baldwin said VA hospital paperwork indicated the man was being treated for unspecified issues.

“It seems that he may be homeless. We haven’t nailed that down yet,” he said.

Baldwin said it’s unclear at this time why the man was in Johnson City and the TBI has been trying to locate family contacts.

Items at the shooting scene on May 27

On Thursday night, the man was first denied entry into a bar due to being armed. He then wandered through the downtown area.

“There were five 911 calls and out of the five, there were two [sets of citizens] that he actually menaced with a weapon,” Baldwin said. “He did point the gun at two of them.”

JCPD officers then responded. Baldwin said officers shot the man at a distance of 125 feet. He believes the shooting was justified.

“You’ve got a guy walking around with a gun. There’s five 911 calls. Of course they’re going to send the cavalry and that’s what they did,” said Baldwin. “When they get down there, they find him and he points the gun at the police officers, and they shoot him.”

No one else was injured. The man is still in the hospital, and Baldwin said this is one reason why his name has not yet been released.

“Johnson City Police Department is going to charge him with aggravated assault based upon his activity toward those two sets of citizens,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin said the JCPD will issue two warrants for aggravated assault. Authorities plan to arrest the man upon his release from Johnson City Medical Center, but they’re still unsure when he will be released.

News Channel 11 has also submitted a request to the JCPD for police bodycam footage and 911 recordings related to the incident. JCPD officials responded saying the incident is still under investigation by the TBI.

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