An El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy is on paid administrative leave after shooting a man who he says tried to run over him in a pick-up truck early Wednesday morning. 35-year-old Edward Lewis Johnson faces charges of Attempted 1st Degree Murder, 2nd Degree Burglary, Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft and Felony Eluding. Sheriff's officials say around 5:00 AM, the deputy responded to a call about a suspicious truck stuck in the mud, on the 2000 block of B Street in the Stratmoor HIlls area. According to Lt. Clif Northam with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, as the deputy got close, Johnson got aggressive.
"He began to accelerate in the mud," said Northam. "Once he got out of the mud he attempted to run down the deputy."
The deputy fired, hitting Johnson in the shoulder and thigh. Johnson then drove himself to Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released to authorities. As Johnson sped off, Northam says a stolen ATV flew off his truck and landed in the wooded area behind the EZ Pawn shop-- the shop deputies say the ATV was stolen from.
"Police informed us we'd been broken into," said EZ Pawn manager Michael Tidd. "Then we realized the ATV and a go-cart had been missing."
Tidd says the ATV and go-cart are worth $4,200, and his shop sustained about $1,000 in damage. Sheriff's officials say because they're hard targets, firing at vehicles is not ideal, but in this case, the deputy did what he had to do.
"In a situation that's life threatening, we're trained to survive," said Northam, adding placing the deputy on paid administrative leave for a minimum of 2 days is standard operating procedure in any deputy-involved shooting. Johnson is being held on $25,000 dollar bond. 11-News has confirmed Johnson was just released from the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center August 27.