Police review says shooting on Rips Lane Southwest was justified

A Lakewood police officer who shot and killed an armed man hidden from view behind the tinted windows of his car was justified in the February shooting, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Thursday.

Officer Brian Markert fired three rounds into Daniell Johnson’s car Feb. 8 after seeing the 35-year-old man reaching for a handgun in his lap. The bullets struck Johnson in the chest.

Though Johnson shot himself in the head before officers moved in, the Medical Examiner has ruled he died from the chest wounds.

Police were called to the 20 block of Rips Lane Southwest to take a report from Johnson’s ex-wife, who told officers he’d assaulted her during an argument before leaving her home. She said Johnson had a gun.

Johnson later returned to the neighborhood and was spotted sitting in his car. A SWAT team was called out after a gunshot was fired from inside the car.

Police have said Johnson refused to communicate with them and ignored commands.

“The officers were able to establish that Johnson was reacting to them and that he had a handgun in his lap within easy reach of his hands,” according to court documents.

As SWAT members approached Johnson’s car, Markert fired his rifle three times after seeing him reach for the gun.