Sergeant Craig Johnson: Tulsa Police Officer Dies After Being Shot in Head

Tulsa Police Shooting

Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson, left, and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, right.

Sergeant Craig Johnson, a Tulsa police officer who was shot in the head, has died, police say.

Two officers were initially in critical condition today, June 30, after undergoing surgery, according to official police reports.

Sergeant Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan were shot at around 3:30 am on June 29 at a traffic stop at the intersection of East 21st Street and South Memorial Drive in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police reports said.

The police released an update on Sergeant Craig Johnson’s condition on June 30 in a statement which read:

It is with heavy heart that we are announcing a change in the condition of Tulsa Police Sergeant Craig Johnson.

On June 29th, 2020 Craig sustained multiple gunshot wounds, one of which was a critical wound to his head. After undergoing surgery, Craig’s prognosis did not improve, and he was placed on life support to give his family time to say their farewells. Today, June 30, 2020, in a decision made with his family, Craig’s organs will be donated as his final act of service for our community.

Tulsa Police Sergeant Craig Johnson officially passed away June 30th, 2020 at 1:19pm, leaving behind his two young boys, his wife, his parents, and hundreds of his brothers and sisters with the police department.

Prior to Craig’s passing, Chief Wendell Franklin awarded Sergeant Johnson with the Tulsa Police Department Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the line of duty on June 29th, 2020.

Johnson joined the department in 2005, he was a patrol officer at Mingo Valley Division until he was promoted to Sergeant in 2015. After his promotion, he worked as a Divisional Investigator at Gilcrease Division until August of 2019 and was last assigned to Mingo Valley Division as a graveyard shift supervisor. Craig’s passing is a tremendous loss to the department and the community he served.

Personal message from Chief Franklin:
I want to thank the Johnson family for giving their son to the Tulsa Police Department and citizens of Tulsa. His sacrifice will be forever remembered.

2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

We’ve lost an officer today, but his loss renews our spirit.

Personal message from Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum:
In this moment of terrible loss for our city, I can’t help but think of John 15:13: “No one has greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Sergeant Craig Johnson lost his life protecting the lives of every Tulsan.

Sergeant Johnson was a good man who made our lives better, who trained his fellow officers to be better. As our city mourns, the best thing we can do is to be there for his family – and especially his wonderful boys.

Tulsa is a city that loves and honors heroes. Today, we feel the tremendous pain of losing one. In the days ahead, I hope that both the Johnson family and the men and women of the Tulsa Police Department will feel our city gathered around them – showing the same love for them that Sergeant Johnson showed for us.

I have authorized the lowering of flags at City of Tulsa facilities to pay respect for Sgt. Johnson and his family.

The police said a suspect, David Ware, was apprehended in relation to the shooting. “Officers stopped the suspect at 8900 E. 21st street at about 3:30 AM, a scuffle ensued with the suspect, Ware pulled a gun on the officers and fired multiple times,” the statement read in part.

Ware was later apprehended by police. An update said, “after following several leads, we were able to track the suspect down to a house. When officers surrounded the house, the suspect surrendered.”

Here’s what you need to know:


Tulsa Police Posted That the Men Were ‘Shot in the Head & Sustained Critical Wounds’

Tulsa Police posted a statement on June 29 saying “both Johnson and Zarkeshan were shot in the head and sustained critical wounds, they both went under surgery at two local hospitals and are still in critical condition.”

The statement went on to say:

Craig Johnson joined the Tulsa Police Department in 2005 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2015. He is currently assigned to the Mindo Valley Division as a graveyard shift supervisor.

Aurash Zarkeshan started the Tulsa Police Academy in 2019 and completed his training May of this year and was only out on patrol for 6 weeks.

Please keep them in your thoughts while they fight for their lives under the care of local medical experts.

Shannon Rousseau, reporter with News On 6 in Tulsa, said there had been a prayer vigil held for the wounded men.

Jonathan Cooper, also with News On 6, posted a picture of a Tulsa Police car covered in flowers.

Senator Jim Inhofe said on Twitter in relation to the incident, “Kay and I are praying for the two Tulsa police officers injured this morning. Our thoughts are with their families, loved ones and all of the Tulsa Police Department officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect the Tulsa community.”


Officer Zarkeshan’s Brother Took to Twitter to Comment On the Shooting

Editor of Read Frontier Dylan Goforth posted a statement from Officer Zarkeshan’s brother on June 30. Goforth said that “the brother of Officer Zarkeshan says he is out of surgery and stable, but “not out of the woods.”

Early last night my brother & his supervising officer were shot multiple times while on duty making a traffic stop in Tulsa. All I can ask for is prayers for my brother & his supervisor. He is out of surgery and stable but he is not out of the woods yet. I have never experienced these emotions before, but please just keep him in your prayers. Thank you to Tulsa PD for treating us like family & for everyone who has reached out. I love you bro.

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