MUSCOY – Two days after Sheriff’s deputies tracked down an elusive home invasion suspect, authorities identified the man that was killed after a high speed pursuit last Thursday.
Nicholas Alan Johnson, 32, of nearby Fontana, led deputies on a dangerous high speed pursuit that began in Devore, where the home invasion robbery took place, eventually winding up in nearby Muscoy. The pursuit, which began shortly before 1 p.m. on the northbound side of the 215 freeway, worked its way through parts of San Bernardino and Fontana, reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour.
Along the way, Johnson, who was driving with an adult male and female, along with a 13-year-old boy, inside a Chevrolet Tahoe, ran several stop signs and red lights, “narrowly missing several pedestrians,” said Sgt. John Gaffney.
When Johnson entered the northbound 215 freeway – heading in a southbound direction – he was driving at a high rate of speed into oncoming traffic, “continuing to jeopardize the safety of the public,” said Gaffney. During the pursuit, a deputy from the Sheriff’s Aviation Division in a helicopter fired several shots at the fleeing beige SUV, striking the car several times.
Near the Little League Drive turnoff in Muscoy, Johnson eventually jumped out of the moving car, ran a few yards and finally collapsed on the side of the roadway. The Tahoe kept rolling forward before it collided with a blue SUV that held a family of three people.
One day later, Sheriff’s officials confirmed that Johnson died from gunshot wounds from the helicopter shooter. County officials said it was rare that shots are ever taken at a suspect from a moving helicopter, but that shooters are proficiently trained. All three occupants of the Tahoe were injured. While the adult male and 13-year-old were treated and released, the adult female remained hospitalized, recovering from her injuries.
Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene, having been struck by gunfire prior to jumping from the Tahoe.
Authorities said the decision to take shots from the helicopter toward the fleeing suspect was made because of the danger posed after Johnson entered the freeway driving recklessly. The northbound 215 was shut down for investigation, reopening the high occupancy road at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.