Violent week in San Jose as Santa Clara County Deputy is forced to fire on driver
UPDATE: In the investigation into the shooting of Officer Michael Johnson, and the death of his assailant, Scott Dunham, San Jose Police are reporting that “investigators have determined the fatal shot to the suspect was fired by Officer Doug Potwora, #3506 who was one of the first officers on-scene.” SJPD Officer Potwora was able to fire at the suspect, who was some 40 feet from where Johnson was shot. SJPD Officer Potwora is a 16 year veteran with the department.
A prayer vigil took place Friday, March 27, at 8 p.m. in the courtyard at the San Jose City Hall. Services for fallen SJPD Officer Johnson are expected to be held within the next few weeks.
San Jose continues to experience a high rate of violent crime, as Santa Clara Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of possible drug activities near the 3600 block of Sweigert Road, in the foothills above Northeast San Jose on Wednesday just before noon.
Shots were fired after two vehicles were spotted, engaged in what appeared to be a drug deal. Deputies got out on foot to confront the two drivers, when one of them accelerated his car and rammed onto their vehicle, and began to drive toward the deputies. One deputy in response fired several shots at the driver. The suspect left the area after backing up and driving away from the deputies. The second car remained, and two women were detained.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, in a statement later that day, “We believe we have all involved suspects detained & have located the suspect’s vehicle.”
The male suspect was identified after he showed up at a local hospital claiming that he had accidentally shot himself. The Sheriff’s officer was notified, and the suspect was treated for non-life threatening injuries. He was then booked into the Santa Clara Main Jail, along with the two female suspects who had been left at the scene and were taken into custody on drug related offenses.
The Sheriff’s department has yet to identify any of the suspects in this case, but arrest records show that on Wednesday afternoon at 5:50, Henry Sires, 33 of San Jose, was arrested and charged with attempted murder and assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, giving a false name to an officer, and possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was arrested in the Japantown area of San Jose. Sires may or may not have been the suspect in the Sweigert Road incident, but he does have an extensive history with local law enforcement.
Sires was also arrested on February 3 for possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, drugs without a prescription, resisting arrest and giving false information to an officer. On September 10 he was charged with possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance. In July, he and his wife, Myisha Johnson, were arrested for stealing a car. On May 8 and March 23 of 2014 he was charged with vehicle theft and possession of controlled substances and paraphernalia, and on October 23 of 2013 for possession of a controlled substance.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
CrimeVoice staff contributed to this story.