NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The family of the man accused of shooting an off-duty Metro police officer is in disbelief.
Police say 57-year-old officer Darrell Osment, a 13-year police veteran was off-duty and in plainclothes when he was shot, without warning Thursday night. They say the gunman, 48-year-old William Johnson took off on I-440 leading officials on a chase that ended in gunfire. In the end, Johnson was killed.
The Johnson family tells News 2 that they are devastated, heartbroken, and in complete shock over the reports.
“We don’t understand why anything like this would happen… shock, disbelief. That doesn’t sound like Billy. Billy loves people, Billy loves life,” the suspect’s sister Brandi Johnson told News 2.
Brandi says his friends called him Bill and his family called him Billy. She described Billy as a free spirit. He was the son of a pastor and a graduate of McGavock High School. He practiced massage therapy, spent time traveling the world, and served in the army for years, she said.
“He did serve our country for many years,” Brandi explained saying he also suffered from PTSD.
“If this really happened the way they are saying it happened something had to trigger or we just don’t know, but we just can’t believe it.”
Bill is one of 5 kids in what Brandi described as a close-knit family. She said their parents are still living in Hermitage.
“He was loved by his family and this is like… this is different. We’ve never lost anyone this close in our family,” she cried.
The Johnson family are asking for prayers and sending prayers to Officer Osment’s family as he recovers.
“We are so sorry anything like this happened,” said Brandi.
She added that the family is looking for answers as the investigation continues.