After officer-involved shooting, DeKalb County sheriff discusses the dangers of domestic violence

Northeast Alabama
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DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – Fort Payne police tell WHNT News 19 that they were called to a domestic disturbance on Fischer road Tuesday night, which turned violent.

Sheriff Nick Welden from DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office explains that their deputies were also called to the scene. He says domestic violence calls are never an easy call.

“It usually starts in a home or at a gathering with the family members then it just goes from there,” explains Welden.

He says the suspect, Jeffery Scott Johnson, 40, tried to pour gasoline on the woman who owned the home.

When the deputies arrived Johnson tried to drive away in a stolen minivan, and the chase ended with Johnson in a ditch alongside Dean Road. When officers tried to get him out of the vehicle, they say he sped toward an officer, that’s when the officer shot at Johnson.

The officer says he was in fear for his life.

Welden addressed the officer-involved shootings that Alabama has had recently, and explains when it involves a domestic violence call, the stakes are high for officers.

“We’ve had a couple incidents here lately where you know it’s stemmed from a pursuit, the crime has led over to a pursuit with the law enforcement which has in return led to an officer-involved shooting.”

He says it’s not unusual for people with domestic violence charges to have a history with the law, and after a quick search for Johnson’s name in the state court system, we found he’s been charged with several crimes in the past.

Among multiple traffic charges, there’s public intoxication, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and domestic violence charges.

“That’s why domestic violence is a unique crime in itself, but its a very serious crime that needs to be dealt with,” said Welden. “We have good resources here for victims to be able to contact and get help.”

Welden wants to remind everyone that if you find yourself in a mentally, financially, physically or emotionally abusive relationship you should call 911 or the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800)799-7233.

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