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Fayetteville police ID officers involved in fatal shooting


The Fayetteville Police Department has released the names of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of a woman who appeared to be suffering from a mental crisis on July 1.

In a release Wednesday, the Police Department identified the officers as Officer Zacharius Borom and Sgt. Timothy Rugg. Both have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, the department said.

Court records name Borom as the officer who shot Jada Johnson. 

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting of Johnson that happened on the 2300 block of Colgate Drive. The investigation was turned over to the SBI the night of the shooting, the release said.

A spokeswoman for the SBI did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards is also conducting an internal investigation.

Johnson's family said she was suffering a mental crisis when she was tackled by police trying to get a handgun away from the 22-year-old. Police said the struggle came after officers spent about an hour talking to Johnson, trying to deescalate the situation and working to persuade Johnson to put down the handgun. 

Police said Johnson was threatening to hurt herself. Her grandmother, Maria Iwanski, and her daughter La’Naya also were in harm’s way, police have said.

The shooting happened at her grandfather Rick Iwanski's home.

A search warrant for the residence, issued and executed on July 2, states that when officers arrived on the scene just after 9:40 p.m., they came in contact with Johnson. "It was told to the affiant, officers thought she was having a mental crisis.

"Officers entered the residence and interacted with Johnson. Johnson pulled a firearm from her waistband," the search warrant states. "Johnson placed the firearm to her own head. She stated she should just kill herself. Officers attempted to deescalate the situation with Johnson for several minutes.’’

Johnson then placed the firearm under her arm and went to get a drink of water, according to the document.

"At this time Sergeant Timothy Rugg attempted to disarm Johnson. A struggle began between the officer and Johnson. Johnson was able to get free from Sergeant Rugg,’’ the court record said.

"According to the information provided to the affiant," the search warrant states, "Johnson attempted to grab the gun she previously had in her possession. At which time Officer Zacharius (Borom) discharged his weapon at Johnson and struck her. Johnson died from the injuries on scene."

The search warrant, issued by Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons, states that shell casings and projectiles were seized from the Colgate Drive property during the search.

Officers were initially sent to Iwanski’s house when an attempted break-in was reported, Assistant Police Chief James Nolette said during a news conference on July 2. 

Officers were told that four men tried to break into the residence. Officers contacted the occupants, Nolette said. No evidence of a break-in could be determined, he said. 

The Iwanskis were inside the residence along with Johnson and Johnson’s 2 1/2-year-old daughter. 

Nolette said there were inconsistencies with Johnson’s story. She also appeared “as if she were in crisis,’’ he said. 

Maria Iwanski said her granddaughter was released earlier that day from Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. She said Johnson had been admitted two days before after experiencing mental problems.

Maria Iwanski said her granddaughter got the gun for protection because she was anxious about a toxic situation with her former boyfriend, from whom she had recently split.

She said Johnson became more and more anxious while talking with officers.

Police have said that Johnson agreed to get assistance through Cape Fear Valley and had medical crews ready to respond. 

But Maria Iwanski said police canceled the emergency vehicle while they continued to try to persuade Johnson to give up the gun. 

“They said it was not needed,” she told CityView TODAY days after the shooting. “She wanted to go back to the hospital. She got more and more anxious.’’

The Police Department has referred questions about the case to the SBI.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, Police Department, fatal shooting, Colgate Drive, officer-involved shooting