Man shoots, kills California officer who was checking on him - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man shoots, kills California officer who was checking on him

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This undated booking photo provided by the San Jose Police Department shows Scott Dunham. This undated booking photo provided by the San Jose Police Department shows Scott Dunham.
Officer Michael Johnson, a 14-year veteran San Jose police officer, was killed Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after he responded to an apartment complex in the 2600 block of Senter Road in San Jose, Calif. Officer Michael Johnson, a 14-year veteran San Jose police officer, was killed Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after he responded to an apartment complex in the 2600 block of Senter Road in San Jose, Calif.
Law enforcement officers have an area blocked off as they search for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a San Jose, Calif., police officer Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Law enforcement officers have an area blocked off as they search for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a San Jose, Calif., police officer Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A man threatening to commit suicide unleashed a barrage of gunfire on Northern California officers called to check on him, killing a 14-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department in what the mayor is calling the city's "darkest hour."

Scott Dunham, 57, fatally shot Officer Michael Johnson Tuesday night, launching an hourslong manhunt for the gunman and forcing nearby homes to be evacuated. The search ended when Dunham was found dead early Wednesday on his apartment balcony, San Jose police spokesman Albert Morales said.

Police had no communication with the suspect between the time Johnson was shot about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday and when Dunham was found dead more than eight hours later, at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday. It was unclear if he killed himself or died when officers returned fire. He may have been dead the entire time, police said.

Police Chief Larry Esquivel said at a news conference early Wednesday that it was difficult to pinpoint Dunham's motive or mindset.

"It's unfortunate that this person had the nerve, the audacity, to shoot at our officers that were responding to a call for service, for assistance," he said.

Officers approaching Dunham's San Jose apartment building were met with gunfire. After Johnson was shot, authorities swarmed the area in search of the shooter. Officers, armored vehicles and a helicopter came from neighboring law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol.

The last San Jose officer killed in the line of duty was Jeffrey Fontana, who was shot during a vehicle stop in 2001. That gunman, DeShawn Campbell, was convicted in the case.

Coincidentally, both Johnson and Fontana were in the same police academy class.

Johnson is the 12th officer to be killed in the San Jose Police Department's 166-year history and leaves behind a wife, who was out of town at the time of the shooting, police said.

Mayor Sam Liccardo expressed sympathies to Johnson's family, telling reporters: "This has been San Jose's darkest hour."

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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