CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)-The family of a Charleston police officer fatally wounded in the line of duty earlier this month is receiving $100,000 from West Virginia’s Emergency Responders Survivor Benefit Fund.
State Fire Marshal Ken Tyree presented the authorized benefit to the Charleston Police Department on Wednesday.
Patrolman Cassie Johnson was shot while responding to a Dec. 1 traffic complaint on the city’s West Side. Officer Johnson returned fire, wounding her assailant. With Johnson’s assistance, fellow officers were able to capture the suspect a short time later. Officer Johnson, 28, succumbed to her injuries on Dec. 3. The Charleston native had joined the CPD in January 2019, and previously served as a city humane officer. The suspect has since been charged in her murder.
The West Virginia Emergency Responders Survivor Benefit Act intends to honor firefighters, law enforcement, EMS and Division of Forestry personnel killed in the performance of their emergency response duties through benefits provided to their surviving spouse, designated beneficiary, children, or parents. The governor oversees certification of the survivor benefit, and his Department of Homeland Security and its Office of the State Fire Marshal help to administer the program.
“First responders always unite when one of our own pays the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country from threats to our way of life,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy.
Sandy noted that Gov. Jim Justice had ordered an expedited process under the Survivor Benefits Act. Fire Marshal Tyree Met with Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt to quickly obtain the necessary documentation.
Justice had requested frequent updates on the condition of Officer Johnson following the shooting, and was advised of her passing within minutes of the terrible loss. He ordered that a West Virginia flag be flown over the Capitol in Officer Johnson’s honor. This flag was then presented to Sheryl Johnson, the officer’s mother, at her memorial service.