Bond denied in officer shooting

Timothy Johnson

A judge denied bond Sunday for a 25-year-old man who police say admitted to shooting a North Charleston patrol officer who tried to talk with him earlier in the weekend.

Timothy Darrell Johnson Jr. of Martha Drive faces charges of attempted murder of a police officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, possession of a stolen firearm and assaulting an officer while resisting arrest.

In written and oral statements, Johnson confessed to firing four times and twice hitting David Winslette as the North Charleston police officer attempted to get his attention outside a gas station early Saturday, according to an arrest affidavit.

The bond amount for two other men facing a count of being an accessory after the fact — Cretion Antonio Patterson, 25, of Hartford Circle and Dontreia Antwon Durant, 33, of Hyde Avenue — was set at $200,000. Investigators said Patterson and Durant left the scene and later discussed by telephone how to help Johnson avoid capture.

The wounded officer was listed in “stable but good” condition Sunday at Medical University of South Carolina, police spokesman Spencer Pryor said. Winslette, a former deputy with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, was hired by North Charleston in December 2010.

The affidavit states a bullet struck Winslette in the chest area of his protective vest, and another hit his knee. Doctors performed surgery Saturday to repair his left knee.

During the bond hearing Sunday afternoon, six police officers lined the back wall of the courtroom as Johnson’s family members sat on wooden benches. Many of Johnson’s relatives openly wept and dabbed their eyes with toilet paper. One officer shed tears.

It was around 3 a.m. Saturday when Winslette heard reports of a theft at a South Allen Drive home, Pryor said. The victim described to police dispatchers the man who stole from him.

A short time later, Winslette saw a man who fit that description at an El Cheapo gas station at 3615 Dorchester Road near South Allen Drive, according to Pryor, who later added that Johnson was not the thief. The affidavit states Johnson and the two other men exited the store together and were walking near the gas pumps as Winslette arrived.

“The defendant refused to stop and continued to walk away” from Winslette, the affidavit states. “The defendant turned towards Officer Winslette and presented a firearm.”

The assailant fired four rounds, two of which struck the officer. Winslette did not return fire.

In addition to Winslette’s description and two witness statements, video surveillance at the gas station helped detectives in identifying Johnson and the two men accused of helping him leave the scene. Affidavits state that the video captured the initial confrontation that led to the shooting, but they do not specify whether the gunfire itself is shown.

Police officers acted on a tip from a “concerned citizen” and found the three at an apartment home on Barony Park Circle later in the day.

There, the officers also arrested Jerome Dennis Richardson Jr. of Budds Avenue after the police said he was carrying a .38-caliber handgun when they were serving the arrest warrants. He is not charged in the shooting.

Johnson, Patterson and Durant all have criminal histories, according to prosecutors. Johnson has past arrests on charges of unlawfully carrying a firearm in 2005, possessing beer as a minor in 2007 and larceny in 2010, according to prosecutors.

During the bond hearing Sunday, Johnson told a judge that he had been a welding student at Trident Technical College in 2007 but a car crash interrupted his plans. He said nothing about the crime, and family members gathered at the hearing declined to comment.

“I was trying to get back into school,” Johnson told the judge. “I was trying to get a job.”

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