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Michael F. Easley

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Theodis Beck

North Carolina Department of Correction

For Release: IMMEDIATE Contact: Pamela Walker
Date: June 30, 2004 Phone: (919) 716-3700

Officer and probationer injured during struggle

WILKESBORO At approximately 7:30 p.m Tuesday night, probationer Derick Johnson attacked Officer Jerome Clemens in the Community Corrections Office in Wilkesboro. During the course of the attack, Officer Clemens used pepper spray on Johnson to stop the assault. When pepper spray failed to stop assault, the officer shot Johnson.

The officer and the probationer were transported to Wilkes Regional Medical Center in North Wilkesboro. Officer Clemens was treated and released for the injuries he received during the incident. Johnson was later transported to North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem where he remains in critical condition.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident, which is standard procedure for an officer-involved shooting. The Division of Community Corrections also is conducting an internal investigation. Officer Clemens, who joined the department in June 1994, is on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Preliminary indications are that Officer Clemens used the necessary force to protect his own life,” said Bill Neal, Judicial District Manager.

Johnson, 32, is serving a probation sentence for possession with intent to sell schedule II and two counts of driving while license revoked, according to department records. He was on intensive probation, which is the highest level of supervision for offenders on probation. He was in prison from May 2000 until January 2001 for driving while impaired. Department records also show other previous convictions that include assault by pointing a gun, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, driving while impaired and drug possession.

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North Carolina Department of Correction
Public Information Office     4202 Mail Service Center     Raleigh NC 27699-4202
Phone (919) 716-3700      Fax: (919) 716-3795

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