October 25 is the anniversary of the passing of Officer James S. Johnson. Officer Johnson is the only East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) officer to be killed in the line of duty.
On October 25, 1984, Officer Johnson went to an apartment on North Hagadorn to follow up on a UDAA complaint. The senior citizen living at this address had reported that his vehicle was taken without permission by his aide. Upon arriving, Officer Johnson made entry into the apartment and was ambushed by Wayne Lamarr Harvey and Patricia Ware. Harvey fatally shot Officer Johnson in the head. The two suspects fled on foot and were arrested on Birch Row near Hagadorn. Just prior to their arrest, the pair attempted to steal a second vehicle and killed the owner in the process.
Both suspects were convicted on multiple charges including first and second degree homicide. Harvey is currently serving two life sentences and incarcerated at the Maxey / Woodland Correctional Facility.
Officer Johnson was married and had six children. He served 11 years with the ELPD. He also served as a Captain in the United States Army. The ELPD Honor Guard conducted a memorial service on Friday, October 25, 2013.