Greensboro police officer involved in New Year’s shooting

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(Pictured from left to right): Byron Alan Dawson, 25, Jared Lamar Bennett, 25, and Marcus Deshay Briggs, 24

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Three men from Virginia have been arrested in connection with an officer-involved shooting that took place early New Year’s Day in Greensboro.

According to a news release, Greensboro police Sgt. K.B. Johnson was assaulted by the suspects early Sunday morning. The suspects, who were each jailed in Guilford County, include Byron Alan Dawson, 25, of Chatam, Jared Lamar Bennett, 25, of Java, and Marcus Deshay Briggs, 24, of Ringold.

Dawson, a passenger in the vehicle, was charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied property and possession of marijuana. He was given a $10,000 secured bond.

Briggs, the driver of the vehicle, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, careless and reckless driving, failure to heed blue lights, and possession of marijuana. He was given a $10,000 bond.

Bennett, another passenger in the vehicle, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana. He was given a $6,000 bond.

Police said officers responded to reports of a shooting around 2:30 a.m. in the 200 block of South Elm Street, where witnesses said multiple suspects had just assaulted someone and driven away in a red SUV.

“I was standing at the corner of Washington and South Elm and I heard like four or five shots from behind,” said Christina Moore, a server at nearby sports bar Ralley Monkey’s. “It was a minute later I saw the cop coming up this way going towards Washington.”

Police said Sgt. Johnson spotted a vehicle matching the description on E. Washington Street near S. Elm Street. When Johnson approached the SUV, police said it accelerated toward him.

“I was like right behind the cop. It was scary,” Moore said. “And he was close to hitting him. He put his own life at risk to stop them.”

Police said Johnson fired a single gunshot and struck the SUV before it sped away. Police said a brief pursuit ensued until the SUV was stopped on W. Washington Street near S. Greene Street.

A single gun was found in the SUV, police said.

Neither the officer nor the suspects were injured as a result of the incident, police said.

With downtown being packed throughout the evening for New Year’s celebrations, police said it’s extremely fortunate that nobody was injured.

Criminal investigators with Greensboro police are continuing to investigate the incident while the Professional Standards Division conducts an administrative investigation into the officer’s actions.

Additional charges are pending, police said.

The District Attorney will also review the case and determine whether or not Johnson’s actions were justifiable.

Police are asking anyone with further information about the incident to call Crimestoppers at (336) 373-1000.