District Attorney: Officer Justified In Shooting Suspect

Scene on August 12, 2012

A police officer was justified in shooting a suspect, the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

In August, Fountain police were dispatched to a home on reports of shots being fired inside. Officers learned that Stephen Payne was holding his wife and two of his children hostage inside his home. His teenage daughter was able to escape, and was remaining in contact with her mother through text messages.

Police say Payne fired one shot inside the home, but no one was injured.

As officers began to set up containment around the home, Payne's wife and sons emerged from the house, the woman screaming at her children to run. As Payne started to chase after his sons, two officers came up behind him and yelled for him to get on the ground. Payne turned and began drawing his gun, prompting Sgt. Tim Johnson to shoot. Payne was wounded, but not deterred; he aimed his gun at the officers, leading Johnson to fire twice more.

The DA's office says Johnson's actions were justified due to the threat Payne posed on officers. Johnson will not face criminal charges. Payne is now awaiting trial.