Kimberly PD identify officer shot and killed Tuesday night

Kimberly PD identify officer shot and killed Tuesday night
Officer Nick O'Rear killed in the line of duty (Source: City of Ashville)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Kimberly officer shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday night has been identified as Nick O’Rear.

The shooting happened during a pursuit on I-65 in north Jefferson County.

Jail records show 37-year-old Preston Cheyenne Johnson was booked with capital murder for shooting Wednesday morning. Johnson and three other people were taken into custody near Highway 78 in Dora after 1 a.m. Wednesday. Johnson is being held on no bond.

Kimberly Mayor Bob Ellerbrock said O’Rear is the father of two with another child on the way.

END OF WATCH: Thank you for your service, Nick O'Rear. Please continue to pray for Officer O'Rear's family and the...

Posted by WBRC FOX6 News on Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Ellerbrock said O’Rear was helping out a neighboring community Tuesday night when he was shot and killed on I-65.

Ellerbrock called O’Rear’s shooting death a “sad loss of life that is affecting not only his family, but the community.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall, U.S. Attorney Jay Town and other law enforcement officials have posted about the fatal shooting on social media.

The tweet from Town reads:

Alabama has lost another brave officer whose end of watch came too soon while protecting and serving his community. We all mourn during this tragic time for this officer, his family, and the Kimberly PD. The violence against law enforcement is maddening.

Governor Kay Ivey released the following statement:

“I am profoundly grieved to hear of the passing of the Kimberly police officer who was shot in the line of duty last night. The safety of our citizens and the rule of law is forefront on the minds of our officers who willingly risk their lives on behalf of ours. His sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Preston is being held in Jefferson County Jail without bond.

Preston Johnson, in an October 21st, 2019 mugshot from Cullman County
Preston Johnson, in an October 21st, 2019 mugshot from Cullman County (Source: Cullman County Sheriff's Dept.)

The incident began near exit 281 on I-65 in northern Jefferson County after 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

Johnson is charged with Capital Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Capital Murder while Shooting into a Vehicle, and Capital Murder while Shooting from a Vehicle.

Additional warrants were issued against Johnson for Attempted Murder and Discharging a Firearm into an Occupied Vehicle involving another law enforcement officer.

Wednesday afternoon Walker County Sheriff’s deputies posted a picture on Facebook of the handcuffs used in Johnson’s arrest. Several law enforcement agencies worked together to arrest Johnson.

Early this morning, several law enforcement agencies apprehended Preston Johnson in Walker County after he took the life...

Posted by Walker County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Johnson is a convicted felon. His criminal history includes an arrest in Cullman County last October in connection to a stolen vehicle and drug charges. He was taken into custody in the Good Hope area and was in possession of a stolen vehicle, 13 grams of methamphetamine, needles and other drug paraphernalia and an AR-15. He was charged with receiving stolen property, possession with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

UPDATE: Cullman County prosecutors have filed a motion to revoke bond for Johnson in these cases.

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