Bryan Johnson, a Millis, Massachusetts police officer completely fabricated a story about him taking gunfire Wednesday before getting into a car accident with his cruiser, according to authorities.
Johnson, whose name was made public on Friday, will now face charges for his story. The Millis Police Department released a statement after the truth came out:
Here’s what you need to know about Johnson, the story and his future on the force:
1. Johnson Is Facing Charges for Fabricating a Story About Taking Gunfire
According to a report by NECN, Johnson is facing charges for his story, including misleading a criminal investigation, communicating falls information to emergency services, malicious destruction of property and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
The Millis Police Department issued a statement late on Thursday night:
Johnson is expected to be arraigned in Wrentham District Court. A Millis native, Johnson uploaded several videos of his hometown to his YouTube account over the past year. A 2009 graduate of Millis High School, Johnson was the co-captain of the school’s basketball team and he was still involved in the town’s youth basketball program, according to the Boston Globe. The newspaper also published a yearbook photo of Johnson.
2. Police Discovered the Lie With Ballistics Evidence
Massachusetts police said they realized Johnson was lying after going over ballistic evidence from the scene. Or rather, a lack of ballistic evidence.
Authorities told NECN that aside from shots fired by Johnson into his own cruiser, no ballistic evidence was recovered from the alleged crime scene. Police have yet to confirm whether or not Johnson has admitted to the alleged plot and are not commenting on a possible motive or his performance on the force.
3. Johnson Had Said He Had Been Shot at By a Man in a Pickup Truck
The police officer told his higher-ups that he had been shot at by a man in a pickup truck earlier this week. With his lie coming to light now, police authorities are now saying that there was never a gunman near the small Massachusetts town.
On Wednesday, police responded to the area of Forest Road in Millis after the officer reported that a suspect fired several shots at his police cruiser. “My cruiser’s been shot at. I’m at Forest Road. It’s going to be a dark maroon pickup,” Johnson called into dispatch just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Click here to hear the full, and slightly chaotic, scanner recording between 2:17 and 3:07 p.m. on September 2 as police react to Johnson’s story.
He said that the cruiser had gone off the road and caught fire as he attempted to evade the gunfire. Police immediately conducted a search in the surrounding area but never found a suspect or a car connected to a suspect. The burned-out police Ford Explorer SUV was pulled from the woods late on Wednesday night and was worth an estimated $28,000.
Officials have yet to comment on a possible motive for the lie.
4. Johnson Has Not Been Fired From the Force
According to police, the 24-year-old Johnson has not been fired from the police force and is currently on administrative leave. He was scheduled to begin training as a full-time officer this month. Millis police Sgt. William Dwyer told WBZ-TV on Friday:
Something did go wrong. I’m not sure, I’m not a professional, I can’t tell you exactly what’s gone wrong, but I know there’s something wrong. He was a good police officer. He was a good person. He was a good dispatcher.
Dwyer told The Boston Globe that he would confer with the police chief, who had been away from the town, when he returns on Friday night, discussing Johnson’s future.
According to his Linkedn page, Johnson had been working in the Millis Police Department since April 2014. He had been working as one of two-part time officers with the department after previously working as a dispatcher. Johnson was inducted to the police force on August 17 during a special meeting of the town selection. At the time time he said he “couldn’t be happier for the future and thanked his parents.”
He graduated from Western New England College and had previously worked as an apprentice at Warley Electrical Company for three years.
5. Police Say a Bomb Threat to Millis Middle School on Wednesday May Be Unrelated
In a coincidence of events, on the same day that Johnson fabricated his shooting story, police also received notice that two threats were called into the Millis Middle School, including a bomb threat. Officials said that, at this time, they aren’t sure if the calls are related to Johnson or the events he described on Wednesday afternoon.
Schools in the area had been closed on Thursday as police staged a massive manhunt for the alleged gunmen. The neighborhood was locked down while police units, including a SWAT team, K-9 officers and Massachusetts State Police helicopters patrolled the area. Residents were told to stay indoors and some couldn’t return to their homes because of the lockdown.
The entire incident remains under investigation.