PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A man is dead after a shooting involving the Arizona Department of Public Safety on Memorial Day morning.
Phoenix police, who is conducting the investigation, said a trooper was in the area of the Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard at about 5:30 a.m. on Monday when he saw a car parked in the gore point, partially blocking traffic. The trooper saw a 28-year-old man, identified as Dion Johnson, sleeping in the vehicle.
According to police, the trooper made contact with Johnson and at that point there was some type of "struggle" and the trooper fired his weapon hitting Johnson.
Another DPS trooper arrived on the scene and assisted in removing Johnson from the vehicle. Johnson was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. No troopers were injured in the incident, police said.
Phoenix police is conducting the trooper-involved shooting investigation and DPS is conducting the administrative investigation for the shooting. The trooper involved in the shooting has 15 years of service in law enforcement. Police said there is no body camera footage available from this shooting.
Phoenix police announced on May 29 that a gun was found inside the vehicle that belonged to Johnson.
Eastbound Loop 101 was closed at Tatum Boulevard in north Phoenix for several hours on Monday while DPS and Phoenix police examined the scene.
It is not clear what led to the struggle between Johnson and the trooper. Johnson's family said in a press release that they are working with a lawyer to have authorities release the police report, highway traffic camera footage and the name of the trooper involved in the shooting. The family sent the following press release to Arizona's Family regarding this shooting:
We want to thank everyone for making justice for Dion Johnson a priority! We are still grieving from the pain of his loss, but it warms our hearts to know that communities far and wide have made our fight for justice, their fight! We ask for your continued support as we work with our legal counsel, Jocquese L. Blackwell, to demand authorities to:
1) Release the police report;
2) Release the highway traffic cam footage of the incident since AZ DPS has alleged that there is no body cam footage;
3) Release the name of the officer involved; and
4) Immediately fire and charge the officer who shot and killed Dion Johnson
Regardless of the way the media may try to portray my son, know that Dion was a loving father, son, brother, friend and human being. We want his legacy to be more than just a hashtag. He deserved to live a full life just like anyone else, and have the honor of walking his daughter down the aisle one day. Now that day will never come! Too many unarmed black men and women have lost their lives senselessly at the hands of police officers whose duty was to protect and serve. We will not let my son’s death be in
vain. This will no doubt be a long drawn out battle for truth and justice, but we are willing to fight. Any support given to aid us in this endeavor is welcomed and financial support can be directed to the Justice for Dion Johnson GoFundMe campaign. We stand in solidarity with the families who are facing the same loss we are at this time. Thank you for keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers. Please contact the family’s attorney, Jocquese L. Blackwell at 480-227-4984 if you have any questions and concerns.
This is the 23rd officer-involved shooting in Maricopa County so far this year.