BATTLE CREEK, Mich — Early Saturday morning Battle Creek police officer Jeff Johnson was shot twice and suffered a graze wound when he was trying to apprehend Andre Yarbrough, said Battle Creek Deputy Chief Jim Grafton.
“Ultimately a gun fight ensued. A weapon was displayed by Andre. It was pulled. He shot and immediately struck Officer Johnson,” Grafton said during an interview at BCPD Headquarters. “Officer Johnson went down and was able to defend himself. Some more shots rang out from the suspect. Officer Johnson was able to return fire as the suspect was now fleeing.”
Grafton said that Yarbrough fled for 14 hours before police arrested him after a tip came into the department.
During that time, Johnson was recovering at the hospital.
“Jeff is doing well. He’s at home with his family He’s stable, he’s resting,” Grafton said. “It’s been a little overwhelming I believe.”
Not just for him but for everyone in the department, Grafton said. Incidents and shootings like these take an emotional and mental toll on everyone.
“We as individuals reflected on ‘well that could’ve been us.' There’s that mental part of it. It’s a hump that we have to get over,” he said. “It’s OK to not be okay. But we’ll work together to help get through that.”
Grafton said the department offers resources and tools to help officers get through the shock and pain. He added that it’s comforting that so many people from the community have reached out to help as well.
“There is an account that has been set up through the Battle Creek Community Foundation,” he said. “It’s a HelpNow fund that was converted over to assist officer Johnson and his family.”
He said people can find it on the BCPD Facebook page and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the family.
Loved ones of Jonson also set up a GoFundMe account to help the family as well.
“The physical injuries, those will heal. There is a very good prognosis for officer Johnson and his physical wounds,” Grafton said. “But we also want him and his family to know that we will be there for him in the long run along with all the officers that were involved.”