'He was hurting and needed help': Wife challenges fatal police shooting of Colorado dentist

The widow of a Colorado dentist killed by Lakewood, Colo.-based police in September 2019 is lashing out after subsequent investigations cleared officers of wrongdoing, according to CBS's KCNC-TV.

Scott Johnson, DDS, had reportedly expressed suicidal thoughts to his son on the day of his death. A surveillance video from that night shows the dentist and his wife arguing, and, at one point, Dr. Johnson put a gun in his mouth.

Multiple police responded to the scene. Lakewood officers said they told Dr. Johnson to put down his gun, though widow Michelle Johnson says she never heard that command. An officer shot Dr. Johnson shortly after arriving. The officer told investigators, "I thought he was going to shoot her in the head and kill her."

"I was asking him to give me the gun, calm down…he was crying, upset," Ms. Johnson told KCNC-TV. "He was hurting and needed help."

In April, a county district attorney ruled the shooting was justified.

Ms. Johnson is debating suing the department, claiming Dr. Johnson's death was unjustifiable. She said her husband was not a threat when he was shot.

"They literally gunned a man down who was sitting on the ground crying," Ms. Johnson said. "They killed my husband in front of me. They did not give him a chance."

Lakewood police declined KCNC-TV's request for comment.

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