Slain Charleston police officer Cassie Johnson remembered by colleagues in eastern panhandle

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM) — Tuesday marked two weeks since the tragic shooting death of Charleston police officer Cassie Johnson. Her funeral was a week ago but her memory is carried on by former colleagues far from the state capital.

Officer Johnson was just 28 years old when she was shot dead while responding to a parking complaint in Charleston. She was acting on a complaint that a sport utility vehicle was parked on private property. The owner of the SUV, Joshua Phillips, became aggressive with Officer Johnson after she ordered him to put his hands behind his back so she could place handcuffs on him. Phillips pulled a handgun hidden under his waistband and shot Officer Johnson in the neck.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Weaver worked with Johnson on the Charleston police force before coming to work for Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty.

“You know, just a wonderful person who really went out of her way trying to help people,” Dougherty recalls. “I mean, she did what law enforcement is really there to do, to protect the public and serve the public and do the right thing.”

Officer Johnson joined the city as a humane officer in October of 2017, was sworn in as a Charleston patrol officer in January 2019. She was admired and respected by all who worked with her.

“She never had a chance,” said Dougherty, “and you know it’s a sad, sad day for all of us in law enforcement and particularly for those of us in West Virginia.”

In what has been a most challenging year the loss of Officer Johnson is seared in the hearts of everyone in the Mountain State. The 38-year-old Phillips has been charged with first-degree murder.

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