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Sergeant Adam Johnson

Austin Police Department, TX

On November 28, 2014, a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage in Austin, Texas, during which he targeted three locations in the downtown business district. After attacking the Mexican Consulate and the federal courthouse with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and gunfire, calls to 911 prompted a police response to both locations. A concerted effort was made by officers to locate the gunman who was said to be travelling in the downtown area in a vehicle.

In the minutes that followed, the gunman drove to the area of the Austin Police Department Headquarters and parked his vehicle across the street from the main entrance. After exiting his vehicle, the gunman, without provocation, opened fire with an assault rifle on the front of this occupied building and indiscriminately fired at the facility located alongside the main headquarters.

At the time, the police department’s Mounted Patrol were in the area, and were in the process of securing their horses when they heard distinct sounds of loud automatic bursts of gunfire in the area of the main police headquarters. Shortly thereafter, they observed the lone gunman shooting an assault rifle at the front doors and windows of the headquarters’ main entrance. They also heard bullets ricocheting near their location, and believed the gunman was shooting at them.

Sergeant Adam Johnson was unsaddling his horse when the gunfire commenced. Immediately, another officer who was with him at this location, handed Sergeant Johnson the reins to his horse and then ran towards the gunfire. Sergeant Johnson initially took cover behind a cement pillar of the ramp on the side of the parking garage where he was standing. The gunman continued to shoot at the front doors and windows of police headquarters, also firing at least five rounds in the direction of the mounted officers’ location. When the gunman paused and began to reload his assault rifle, Sergeant Johnson decisively intervened to stop the threat of further violence by taking aim at the gunman with his issued handgun.

While maintaining a grip on the reins of two noticeably agitated horses and steadying his aim aside the pillar he used for cover, Sergeant Johnson fired a single shot at the gunman from an estimated distance of just over 100 yards. His round struck and fatally wounded the gunman, instantaneously ending the deadly threat. Other than the gunman, no other person was injured during this encounter or during the incidents at the Mexican Consulate or the federal courthouse.



An officer being presented with a Badge of Bravery award
Friday, July 1, 2016, Assistant Chief Jason Dusterhoft, United States Senator John Cornyn and Austin Mayor Steve Adler honored Sergeant Adam Johnson with the U.S. Justice Department's Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery (CBOB) during a ceremony at Austin Police Headquarters.)